The P.E.I. Fishermen's Association is aiming to get Island lobster certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

MSC is an international body that evaluates whether fisheries are sustainable, from the water right through processing. The PEIFA says it has signed a contract to begin the final phase of assessment, along with the Seafood Processors Association of P.E.I. and First Nations groups.


The Marine Stewardship Council provides an independent review of whether seafood is environmentally sustainable, from the catch through processing. (CBC)

Fishermen's Association executive director Ian MacPherson told CBC News not getting certified could mean fewer markets for P.E.I. lobster.

"Chains like Loblaws, Costco, I believe Target that's also just coming to Canada, that they've got timelines in place that if product isn't MSC certified by a certain date, they'll no longer carry it in their stores," said MacPherson.

"It is things that are happening out in the retail marketplace that we definitely have to be aware of."

Lobster from Maine and the Iles de la Madeleine are already MSC-certified.

The final stage of assessment will cost $60,000, and a further $40,000 annually to maintain certification.

MacPherson said it will likely be fall 2014 before the process is complete.