Worker shortage leaves lobster at the wharves
P.E.I. lobster fishermen are out on the water Wednesday, some facing quotas as to how much lobster they can sell, but there are so far no reports of boats remaining tied up on shore.
There were reports Tuesday some lobster fishermen were told by their buyers not to go out Tuesday, because they would not be buying anything. Others still have their catch from Tuesday in crates sitting in the water, waiting for the opportunity to sell to a processor.
The P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association says some plants don't have the staff to keep up with the catch.
A lobster buyer in Georgetown told CBC News Tuesday there's just too much lobster being caught right now all through the region. David Conrad said his fishermen were on quota Tuesday and would be again Wednesday, but said the situation is worse for others.
"My fishermen are very happy with the quota that they've got right now. I mean, it's better than nothing," said Conrad.
"There's some fishermen that can't sell their fish today (Tuesday), right here on this wharf, actually. You've got to feel for them guys it's a hard pill to swallow. It's a livelihood for them."
Conrad said catches are just starting to improve after a slow start to the season.
The current situation is unusual and perhaps unprecedented, he said.
After all the turmoil last spring, with fishermen tying up their boats in protest over low prices, followed by two separate government reports on the industry, he thought these issues over supply and demand were supposed to have been sorted out.