Prices for P.E.I. lobster at the wharf could come in around $3 a pound, and if that's the case fishermen should tie up their boats, says P.E.I. Fishermen's Association executive director Mike McGeoghegan.
Fishermen still don't know what price they will be paid for the lobster they have been handing over to processors for the last six days. That price is expected to be set Monday or Tuesday. Some fishermen were hearing early Monday prices would be between $3 and $3.50.
At that price fishing should stop, McGeoghegan told CBC News Monday. Stopping fishing could lower supply and raise prices, he said, adding fishermen need $5 a pound to break even.
A month ago fishermen were optimistic about this season's prices. There were reports from Boston of $10 a pound, and Europeans were turning to seafood after horsemeat was found in food advertised as beef.
A starting price of $3 a pound would be very disappointing for fishermen, as prices typically go down as the season progresses. Prices have rarely been above $5 a pound in the last few years. Towards the end of the fall season in 2012, prices fell below $3 and many fishermen did tie up their boats early.
Jeff Malloy of the P.E.I. Processors Association said prices around $3 a pound could mean real trouble in the industry.