Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Good Time To Renegotiate...

I don't think anyone has or for that matter can anyone explain why the former Binn's Government gave Ocean Choice an exclusive on processing lobsters on PEI... what I hear in the Halifax marketplace is that this industry is in the toilet and there is a major shakeup coming and until there is some more stability then it's going to be very difficult for the processors to find working capital loans... this being said I'm pretty sure that by May 1st there is going to be some hardball played between all the parties and I'd be surprised if the Province didn't have to come to the table... so maybe it would be a good time to renegotiate some of the terms of the previous agreement and allow some competition back into the market... I always felt sorry for Polar Foods, as they had a number of things going against them that never really came out in all the “foolishness” of the public hearings.... back in 1998 we had the Swiss Air Crash and the sale of lobsters in restaurants and fish markets on the eastern seaboard dried up as the consumers seen lobsters as scavengers and the thought of eating them put sales in the toilet... they were just getting back on their feet by mid 2001 and then we had "911" and again the market dried up as people just didn't feel like going out and dining. I understand Polar's inventory was devalued by about 40% which was significant enough in itself to bankrupt any company carrying the size of inventory their business was holding.... now their predecessor has just got the business back on its feet and low and behold the world economy goes in the toilet and the prices take a nose dive... so don't be surprised if we hear the knocking at Government’s door... and all the whiners will be out again looking for another “inquiry”…
New lobster season could add to oversupply
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
CBC News
With a lot of frozen lobster already in storage, and banks not likely to finance larger inventories in the current economic climate, P.E.I.'s lobster processors are turning to the government for help.
In addition to the credit crunch, the global economic crisis is also hitting the lobster industry at the demand level. The combination has many processors worried about the spring season: where will they borrow money to pay fishermen for catches, and where will they sell the catch?
P.E.I. Fisheries Minister Allan Campbell wouldn't be specific about how much money the seafood processing companies may be looking for from government.
"There's not a dollar figure, and you know, I guess until we as a group collectively make a decision as to where we can have the most impact with our efforts and with resources, it's hard to put a figure on that at this point," said Campbell.
"Our premier certainly is acutely aware of the importance and the situation in the fishery, and I'm confident of saying he would be very supportive of some effort to try and put some resources in to try and help the situation here."
Campbell said the lobster industry generates $250 million for the provincial economy each year and employs close to 7,500 people during peak season.
The province has also been meeting with the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, and Campbell said talks with everyone in the lobster fishing industry will continue.

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