A group of fishermen, angry over the low price of lobster and the P.E.I. government's response to it, have signed a petition demanding the resignation of Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley.
A copy of the petition shown to CBC News Monday contained 158 signatures. Fisherman Bethany Nicholson, who helped to circulate it, said the signatures were all gathered on May 8 at Beach Point. On that day fishermen had tied up their boats in protest of low prices.
"It was just passed around the wharf at that time, and the pages that are present right now are just from the people that were there that day," said Nicholson.
"That's as far as it's gone so far but I'm sure there's lots more names."
The petition calls for MacKinley to be replaced with someone "who has knowledge, respect and understanding of the fishery industry."
Everyone, from MacKinley to the Opposition to the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, agrees that there is a crisis. Prices hover around $3 a pound. Some buyers are putting limits on how much lobster they will buy per day, and some days there are no buyers on the wharf at all.
"We are in a crisis. MacKinley is struggling with it. There's no question," said Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association.
"This is a tough issue. I've never seen anything like this in the fishing industry."
McGeoghegan said he has not signed, or even seen, the petition.
Opposition Leader Steven Myers said MacKinley hasn't taken the plight of fishermen seriously.
"He obviously has fishermen infuriated over the way he's behaved, over the way that he's treated the crisis by making jokes about it," said Myers.
"It's not a joke. It's very serious."
CBC News offered to show MacKinley the petition, but the minister refused to do an interview Monday unless CBC News provided him with his own copy.
The petition has not been presented to any provincial government representative yet.
An official with Premier Robert Ghiz's office said the premier retains "full confidence" in MacKinley.