PEI

Lobster rules changing too fast, says P.E.I. MLA

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is in too much of a hurry to increase the minimum size of lobster that can be legally caught in area 25 says an Opposition MLA on P.E.I.

Minimum carapace size for lobster, in area 25, will increase to 77 mm in 2018

The P.E.I. industry has developed markets for smaller lobsters. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is in too much of a hurry to increase the minimum size of lobster that can be legally caught, says an Opposition MLA on P.E.I.

PC MLA Sidney MacEwen says the increase in minimum carapace from 72 to 77 millimetres — in lobster fishing area 25, the western end of the Northumberland Strait — over the course of three years, ending in 2018, is too fast. MacEwen raised his concerns during an appearance of a Fisheries and Oceans official at a legislature committee meeting Friday.

Sidney MacEwen would like to see the process of getting to 77 millimetres stretched out to at least five years. (Stephanie Brown/CBC)

"What we were trying to say today — and I don't think we really got a good answer on — why [is it] happening so fast other, than they're just trying to get to 77 millimetres really fast," said MacEwen.

"Why don't we take our time on this and spread it out over at least five years."

The change is considered a particular concern on P.E.I., where the industry has developed markets for smaller lobsters, known as canners.

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said in June the decision will not be reversed.

Clarifications

  • This change in carapace size is for lobster fishing area 25 only.
    Apr 03, 2017 1:41 PM AT

With files from Kerry Campbell

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