Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Great Idea... but put your own money up!!!!

I've listened to Mike McGeoghegan talk about this lobster storage facility for some time and I'm all for new investment... providing the end-users/owners (co-op) take most of the risk and not the taxpayers... What I'm saying here is if this is such a great business idea then like any proposal that would be put forward to a bank then the shareholders should put up "their own equity" of 25% cash and guarantee the Government loan balance... but if this is just another silly scheme that doesn't have a legitimate business plan with no real investor money in the deal like our meat plant or pork plant then I'm out until the fishers put their own money up...

P.E.I. government looking at adding lobster storage capacity

The Guardian
Published on November 4, 2011
Wayne Thibodeau

Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley says he's prepared to look at adding more lobster storage capacity in Prince Edward Island in an effort to boost lobster prices.

In response to a question by Charlie McGeoghegan, MacKinley said he'd like to see the fishermen come forward with ideas. He said if the idea is feasible, he is prepared to fund the project.

"The way I like to run departments is the way I run the farm," said MacKinley.

"I want people to come forward with ideas. Souris has an idea, the young fishermen down there have an idea. If that group of fishermen can get together and form a cooperative and put a proposal to us I'm 100 per cent behind that."

Lobster prices were stronger during the spring season, but fell again for fall fishermen.

A lobster storage facility would allow access lobster caught during the first two weeks of the spring lobster season, when lobsters are usually plentiful, to be held until later in the season or for the month of July when neither the spring nor the fall fishermen are fishing.

That's also when demand peaks, as more and more tourists visit the province.

Tignish Fisheries has a cold water lobster storage facility, which can hold up to 500,000 pounds of lobster.

McGeoghegan, who is also a fishermen, believes additional lobster storage would improve lobster prices.

"Processors have used this as a leverage point or an excuse for years that they can't pay because there is a big glut of lobster in the spring and that's the reason why the price is down," said the MLA.

"This would take that off the table. If the water is cold enough, it can hold them for two months easily and longer if the water is cold enough."

The MLA for Belfast-Murray River hopes his district can be considered for a lobster storage facility.

"I think there is more than one (cold storage facility) needed. There is a large number of fishermen in my area so it would be a good spot for one."

MacKinley said his department is also trying to develop new markets in western Canada.

He also wants to see more Prince Edward Island lobster being sold in China.

With a population of 1.4 billion people, China holds great potential.

There is currently a group of Prince Edward Island fishermen, including P.E.I. Fishermen Association President Mike McGeoghegan, in China looking at expanding the markets in that country.

"We have financed a group of people over there right now for 15 days to China," said MacKinley.

"I'll definitely be asking these people when they come back to meet with my department and find out what was accomplished by going to China."

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