Fishermen facing shortage of hands
EI changes prompting workers to stay out west
Fishermen on P.E.I. are hearing that a lot of their hired helpers will not be returning this year for the lobster season, says the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association.
Association president Mike McGeoghegan told CBC News Friday because of changes to the EI system a lot of people who help out on lobster boats have gone out west for work and don't plan to return.
"A lot of these young fellows are not going to come home to go fishing. It's just not profitable for them or feasible for them, and that's sad because they are skilled workers," said McGeoghegan.
"Fishing is not a job where you can just pick somebody off the street and stick them in the boat. They have to have [marine emergency duty qualifications] and first aid and there are a lot of requirements to be a helper. We definitely have to be looking at this."
McGeoghegan said the association will likely start working on a plan to help fill the gap. He expects it will involve retired fishermen and even more help from spouses.