Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ed Frenette, you promised us free lobsters!!!!

Ed Frenette, back in the spring you were trying to pull off some kind of publicity stunt by offering to "give away free" lobsters apparently to protest low prices and then when the time came to "toni" up the lobsters you bailed on us with some kind of lame excuse that you couldn't find a mall parking lot. I was trying to defend your honor, as a lot of Islanders were laughing at the thought that "lobster fishers" would give away something free, so I offered up the Sears parking so you could deliver on your promise. A lot of Island farmers and small tourist operators are feeling the pinch these days and now that your crowd has done quite well in spite of the doom and gloom you were forecasting maybe it is time to deliver on your promise and offer these folks some free lobsters. You can still use my mall parking lot for free.
Lobster landings rise but low prices, fuel and bait costs offset gains
The Guardian
Lobster landings in the 2008 spring lobster season were up by 10.3 per cent over last year, however low prices paid by processors along with skyrocketing costs of fuel and bait off-set gains for many fishermen. Preliminary numbers from the spring lobster season in lobster fishing Areas 24 and 26A were released Wednesday by provincial Fisheries Minister Allan Campbell.The total landings in the spring season were 18.7 million pounds. In LFA24, along the north shore of Prince Edward Island, landings were 14 million pounds, up by 6.1 per cent over last year. In LFA26A, in the central and eastern part of Northumberland Strait, landings were 4.8 million pounds, an increase of one million pounds or 24.5 per cent over last year."The landings in 26A were the highest recorded landings since 2002 when 5.1 million pounds were landed," said Campbell."I am very pleased with the preliminary reports of higher landings this season, especially in 26A where there have been concerns about low landings in recent years," he said. He acknowledged that despite higher landings, many fishers continue to face challenges because of the combination of rising costs for fuel and bait, and lower prices."That is absolutely right," said Ed Frenette, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association."Based on landings last year and this year, if you were to take 25,000 pounds of lobster, given the lower prices and increased costs, fishermen this year would actually have gotten $37,000 less in gross income from the same amount of product," he said. Frenette said this has got to change. "There has to be some mechanism established to allow fishermen input into setting a shore price for the season, and there has to be improved marketing of the product around the world," he said. Many fishermen are also calling for increased production capacity here on the Island to eliminate the moratorium on processing that is in place because of an agreement between Ocean Choice and the provincial government.Campbell said that many fishers experienced a slow start to the season, but landings showed improvement as water temperatures rose. The minister said he was also encouraged by reports that fishers continue to see good numbers of undersized lobsters and egg-bearing females in traps. "This should be a positive sign for coming years," he said.

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