Lobster fishermen on P.E.I.'s North Shore have turned down an offer from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to give up 30 traps each in return for more than $5,000.
The proposal was rejected by margin of almost two to one, with 236 fishermen voting against and 127 in favour. The voting took place earlier this week.
It's part of a rationalization plan that would have given $3.5 million to fishermen in Fishing Area 24, which runs from Souris to Tignish with a fishing season in May and June.
Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, said the goal of the government with the program was not clear to fishermen.
"They don't know where [Fisheries and Oceans] really wants to go with this," said McGeoghegan.
"It's not something that that area needs to be looking at right at the moment for sustainability. They already have a good, sustainable fishery."
McGeoghegan said if the federal government wants to reduce the fishing effort, it should be thinking about spending more money on buying out licences.