PEI

Lobster season should be extended, says fisheries minister

P.E.I. Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac has written to his federal counterpart, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea, to ask for an extension to the lobster season.

Ice delayed start of lobster season on P.E.I.

Lobster boats on P.E.I.'s North Shore were delayed getting out for the spring season until May 8 due to ice conditions. (CBC)

P.E.I. Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac has written to his federal counterpart, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea, to ask for an extension to the lobster season.

Because of ice conditions around the scheduled April 30 season start date, fishermen on the North Shore were delayed getting out of their harbours by eight days, and fishermen on the South Shore were delayed 11 days.

The situation regarding the moulting of the lobster would need to be closely monitored, said Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac. (CBC)

An extension of the lobster season would benefit everyone involved in the fishery, said McIsaac.

"I believe that fishers should be given every opportunity to complete a full season while respecting the health of the resource," said McIsaac in a news release.

"A shorter season could result in reduced landings and I am hopeful the minister will respond positively to this request."

Fishermen have already asked Shea to extend the season.

Extending the season can be problematic, because the lobsters begin to molt in early summer. Moulting lobster do not tend to survive the trip to market.

With water temperatures cooler than normal, some believe the moulting could be delayed. McIsaac suggested the situation would need to be closely monitored.

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