Price plunge: Some Island lobster fishermen losing $2/lb
'It puts more pressure on fishermen — you got to work more, you got to work harder'
Some P.E.I. lobster fishermen say they were told Thursday they would get $4.50 a pound for market lobster and $4 a pound for canners — a $2 drop compared to last fall.
The P.E.I. Fishermen's Association said it has also been hearing of prices of $4.75-$4.50 for market lobster, and $4.25-$4 for canners.
"If rumours of these prices are true it is a significant decrease from prices paid in the 2016 fall season," the PEIFA said in a release.
New Brunswick lobster fisherman received similar news, which led a number of fisherman to tie up their boats in protest.
Linked to U.S. dollar
The PEIFA said it was told the price drop is connected to a change in market conditions, linked to the value of the U.S. dollar.
"Based on the low volume of fishers at this time of the year the PEIFA feels that the lower amount of lobster being landed should justify a higher price," the release said.
"The information collected by the PEIFA does not justify a $2 drop in price, but industry representatives argue the exchange rate is a key factor."
The association said it will continue to pursue "fair and equitable" prices for Island fishermen.
Shelton Barlow fishes lobster out of Howard's Cove, P.E.I., and when he heard of the lobster pricing Thursday he couldn't believe it.
Low price putting 'pressure' on fisherman
"Terrible, it just feels awful," he said.
"It puts more pressure on fishermen — you got to work more, you got to work harder because you have to make up."
When asked if the $4 to $4.50 is enough to make a living, Barlow said: "No."
'Never seen that happen'
In his 40 years of fishing, Barlow said, this quick price drop is the worst he's ever seen.
"This year going from $6 and drop down to $4 — a $2 drop — I've never seen that happen," he said.
Though there wasn't a protest at Howards Cove like there was in New Brunswick, he said the talk around the harbour was that there should have been an investigation into the price.
The Seafood Processors Association of Prince Edward Island did not return CBC's requests for comment.
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With files from Steve Bruce