Maritime lobster summit set for late March

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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To focus on lobster panel recommendations

The Maritimes' three fisheries ministers will gather in late March to discuss last November's recommendations of a three-person lobster panel.

The Maritimes' three fisheries ministers will gather in late March to discuss last November's recommendations of a three-person lobster panel. The panel suggested reducing the number of traps early in the season, taking days off each week and better marketing and quality control.

HALIFAX – Fisheries ministers from the Maritime provinces are moving forward to address issues facing the lobster industry at the Lobster Value Recovery Summit, March 26-27.  

The summit was announced Wednesday by Nova Scotia's Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell, New Brunswick's Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp, and Prince Edward Island's Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley.

The summit will focus on key recommendations in the Maritime Lobster Panel report, which was presented to the three ministers last November, and to gain consensus on the changes necessary to strengthen the industry.

"It is critical that we receive input and direction from the lobster industry," said Colwell. "I look forward to hearing the discussion that comes out of this summit as it will help define our actions as we move forward on this important initiative."

MacKinley said he is very pleased with the positive response to the report and the progress to date.

"We have participated in numerous meetings across the province," said MacKinley. "There is good discussion taking place within the industry on how we can achieve a more stable lobster fishery that will see increased prices for today's fishers and processors as well as for the next generation."

Since the report was presented, ministers in each province have hosted sessions where the lobster panel members briefed industry stakeholders on the report. Two additional session will be held in February, one in Nova Scotia and another in New Brunswick, for Atlantic First Nations' harvesters representatives.

"The report has generated attention and interest within the lobster sector," said Olscamp. "In order to move forward, industry stakeholders from all sectors must sit together and find the ways to implement the changes they wish to see in order to increase value for all segments of the industry."

The summit will also include representatives from Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec. The Lobster Council of Canada will lead the organization of the summit, with the assistance of a steering committee comprised of industry and government representatives from the three Maritime provinces.

The panel met with about 100 organizations representing fishermen, buyers, shippers, processors, brokers, and First Nations throughout the Maritimes, Newfoundland, Quebec and the state of Maine. The panel also received nearly 30 submissions from organizations, companies and individuals.

The report addresses the sudden drop in price in the spring of 2013 and examines the various cost and revenue components of harvesters, buyers and processors in the Maritimes. The report provides recommendations on marketing initiatives and on a course of action to stabilize and increase prices paid to harvesters. It also identifies options for a formal system where industry would know the price paid to harvesters in advance of landings.

 

Organizations: Lobster Value Recovery Summit, Maritime Lobster Panel, The Lobster Council of Canada First Nations

Geographic location: Maritime, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Prince Edward Island Newfoundland and Labrador Quebec Maine

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  • Doug P
    January 22, 2014 - 11:02

    Why don't they just come clean instead of pretending that what they are having is a "summit". Lobster fishermen think the deal you are getting on lobster needs to be stopped. They are going to use the government and try to get price controls and "regulations" to boost their ability to raise prices - all against the will of their consumers. Its been done time and time again. In every outcome, industries were left with original problem and even more problems thanks to melding with market forces they obviously do not understand. The market will lift prices when they can, in the mean time stop whining to bureaucrats and go fish.