Atlantic Fisheries Fund - $2,400,000 for Prince Edward Island fish harvesters

Backgrounder

Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island announce $2,400,000 through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF) for a project to support the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA).

The funding will allow lobster harvesters to install storage and handling equipment on their vessels to bring high-quality lobster to markets.

Funding:
AFF Non-Repayable Contribution: $2,400,000
Total Project Costs: $4,608,000

The PEIFA was formed in the early 1950s and incorporated as a non-profit entity in 1982. It represents all core fishers in Prince Edward Island. The number of harvesters totals about 1,255 companies and individuals, many of which have lobster licences.

The Association has implemented a number of initiatives on behalf of its members – including certification and training – and has recently delivered a series of awareness and training sessions on lobster handling in order to maximize quality.

As a result of increased lobster catches and the warming of coastal waters due to climate change, preserving the quality of lobsters while on board the vessel has become more challenging. Lobster vitality and minimum mortality are essential to the product value in both the processed and fresh markets. 

Analysis done by the industry in partnership with government agencies confirms that maintaining product temperature and protection from the elements (sun, wind and rain) maintain lobster quality far better than current practices.

Consulting with harvesters, PEIFA has selected an equipment and infrastructure package that will deliver more effective on-board storage and handling of live lobster, in addition to being adaptable to most if not all lobster harvester vessels. 

Harvesters will pay 50% of the cost of the equipment with matching funding by AFF, up to a maximum of $3,000 per harvester.

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