PEI

P.E.I. fall lobster fishery has 'higher demand than we've ever seen before,' says marketing board

Lobster fall fishing in western P.E.I. seems off to a good start amid talk demand could be as high as it’s ever been in the season.

'We're quite happy'

A forklift operator on the wharf at North Lake, P.E.I., prepares to lift crates of fresh live lobster onto a refrigerated truck. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

Fall lobster fishing in western P.E.I. seems to be off to a good start amid talk demand could be as high as it's ever been in the season.

On Monday morning, fishermen started setting their traps in Lobster Fishing Area 25, located at the western end of the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and New Brunswick.

Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Board, says the sector has benefited recently from a considerable rise in demand for live lobster within Canada, as more people decide to cook at home due to the pandemic.

"The last couple of years the price for the fall stayed up, kind of similar to where the spring prices finished up," he said. "This year it seems there's a higher demand than we've ever seen before, which we're quite happy about."

'Nobody has any inventory'

Lobster fishermen will know for sure what the prices are like once they start hauling their traps ashore on Tuesday, but McGeoghegan said they're expecting them to start at around $9 to $10 per pound.

"All the fishermen that I talked to in the western part of P.E.I. are very excited about how things sound," he said. "Nobody has any inventory ... and if they do it's already sold, it's just waiting to be picked up."

McGeoghegan said at the international level the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in most U.S. states is helping demand in the sector's top market, while demand in China remains very high.

He said the sector is also benefiting from favourable exchange rates between Canada and the countries that are the main buyers of lobster.

More from CBC P.E.I.

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