Fishermen try to stay positive after rough season
The P.E.I. Fishing Association says it's mulling over the idea of unifying its lobster fisheries under one brand in hopes of selling Island lobster for a premium price.
The association's annual meeting wrapped up in Charlottetown on Saturday and members said they are doing their best to stay positive as the industry struggles.
The region saw a glut of lobster this year driving down prices for fishermen.
Island fishermen discussed the state and future of their industry for two days, but the overall tone of the meeting was optimistic, reported the CBC's Patrick Faller.
"Moving forward, not dwelling on the past sort of a thing," said worker Gertie Campbell.
PEIFA executive director Ian MacPherson said the group should focus on more international branding to garner more money.
He said customers in Europe and Asia often mistake P.E.I. lobster for Maine lobster.
"We've even seen situation where Canadian lobster has actually been called Boston lobster. So that's a disaster, we don't want to see that happening," said MacPherson.
The PEIFA said by marketing under a unified brand they could convince customers to pay more for Island lobster.
"Ultimately the end game would be to get more back to the harvesters and I think if we target niche markets and if we are able to get a premium for that product," said MacPherson.
Fishermen in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are fighting to increase the minimum size of lobster Maritimers can catch, but MacPherson says allowing P.E.I. fishermen to continue to fish smaller canners gives them the chance to market a unique product.