P.E.I. fishermen tie up boats in lobster price protest
Prices for the first week of the season are set around $3
Prince Edward Island’s lobster season is off to a rocky start with more than 70 fishermen vowing not to participate in protest of the set prices.
A week into the spring lobster season, the fishermen say they've been dealt a blow after hearing they will be getting $2.75 to $3.25 a pound for canner lobsters, and $3.25 to $3.50 for market-sized.
Fishermen in Naufrage agreed Tuesday night to stay home in the morning.
"There’s a lot of different emotions," said Daniel MacInnis. "You’re mad, you’re really mad. It’s just not a good deal."
The price has left many fishermen torn about what to do next. The group in Naufrage voted to shut down operations after they heard their peers in Covehead were doing the same. But other harbours have decided not to follow suit.
MacInnis hopes a one-day action will convince those other harbours to send a strong message to processors.
"Magdalen Islands are getting $4.85 for their markets, and they want us to take $3.25. I mean, it’s just totally unfair," said MacInnis.
Fishermen in Naufrage say they will take further action if they don't get closer to $5.00 a pound.
In the legislature Tuesday, Liberal MLA Buck Watts questioned Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley on why P.E.I. fishermen and processors can't work together and set a minimum price like they do in Newfoundland and Labrador.