P.E.I. lobster fishermen claim victory
About 100 fishermen protested outside the DFO's office in Moncton
Angry Prince Edward Island lobster fishermen say they won a partial victory after roughly 100 protesters demonstrated outside of the Moncton office of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on Thursday.
The lobster fishermen arrived by two buses on Thursday to complain about fishermen with out-of-province licences being able to land lobster on Island wharves.
Nathan Brennan came to the protest what he and others see as an unfair loophole in the lobster licence system in the Northumberland Strait.
One case cited by the protesters involves a fisherman with a Nova Scotia licence who planned to land lobsters on P.E.I. wharves.
The other complaint involved a licence leased from a First Nation in New Brunswick that planned to land on P.E.I. wharves.
Brennan and other protesters said they were leaving content that their concerns were heard by the federal staff in Moncton.
"Well, I feel better now, we can go home now," he said.
The meeting between the fishermen and the DFO staff lasted for two hours on Thursday.
Danny Arsenault, president of the Prince County Fishermen's Association, said they did get some results from the meeting.
The fishermen say they have won a crackdown on any leased licences and the possibility of more changes to the system later.
"This winter DFO will make sure that the loophole is plugged and that everybody fishes and sets from their own habours, because this is totally unfair," he said.
The protest leader said the P.E.I. fishermen raised the same concerns last year and were told the problem would be fixed.
Arsenault said he is worried that if DFO doesn't make good on their promise after this latest complaint that some of the fishermen will take matters into their own hands
"I don't want to see anyone get in trouble but we've exhausted every other avenue that there is, that's all I can say," he said.
The fall lobster season in southeastern New Brunswick opens on Tuesday.