The fears of lobster fishermen appear to have been realized Tuesday with a government spokesperson saying prices in the first week of the season were $2.75 to $3.25 for canners and $3.25 to $3.50 for market-sized.
A spokesperson for the P.E.I. Department of Fisheries told CBC News Tuesday morning those were the prices in the first week of the season, which started May 1.
The P.E.I. Fishermen's Association says it has not received official confirmation from processors on what price fishermen will be getting for the lobster they sold last week.
Association president Mike McGeoghegan said fishermen need $5 a pound to break even. He recommended Monday that fishermen tie up their boats if prices were in the $3 range.
Fishermen are arranging meetings on wharves around the province Tuesday afternoon to discuss prices and actions they might take in an effort to increase them.
Urgent action needed, says MP
Cardigan MP and Liberal fisheries critic Lawrence MacAulay introduced a motion at the House of Commons standing committee on fisheries and oceans Tuesday to address the issue of lobster prices.
"These people involved in the fishery are selling lobsters today for basically nothing. We can't stand to sit around. We need to do something right away," said MacAulay.
"If we could go down to the Atlantic region it would be great, but it would have to happen all of a sudden. But barring that we need to bring people in and to find out just what can be done in order to see if we can't rectify the price."
MacAulay expects the committee to represent the best interests of lobster fishermen and take a close look at the problem of low prices to see what government can do to help. He said the price needs to come up at least $1.50 or $2.
His motion calls on the committee to call witnesses that include representatives of fish harvesting organizations, the Lobster Council of Canada, lobster processing companies, and provincial and federal fisheries officials.