Will there be there a lobster season?

Y aura-t-il une saison de pêche du homard?

Lobster harvesters have pushed for at least two weeks to the start of the capture, so until may 9, in the Gaspé peninsula instead of April 25.

April 17, 2020 18h32

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Will there be there a lobster season?

Y aura-t-il une saison de pêche du homard?

Gilles Gagné

The Sun

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SAINT-GODEFROI — The question burns the lips since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19; there will there be a fishing season for lobster this year in the Gaspé, the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and in the east of Canada? In mid-march, when the lobster harvesters in Nova Scotia, were fishermen, the price has dropped to less than $ 3 a pound, less than half of the price received by the lobster quebec in 2019, or $ 6.75 each. The price has even stretched to the 2 $ before the nova scotians decide to remove their traps from the water.

“We want to fish. We want to participate in the economic recovery that will follow the COVID, but we don’t want to leave our panties on the table”, said O’neil Cloutier, director of the Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie, representing 160 lobster of the peninsula.

Gaspesians and magdalen Islanders are part of a coalition that has informed the federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Bernadette Jordan of the need to meet a fifteen terms before you discuss a price with the buyers. Certain conditions are economic, others are related to the reduction of the risk of infection.

“There are a lot of people who campaigned for that fishing, in instances such as the prefects of the MRCS, municipalities, economic stakeholders, and we are also picking up on the social media,” says Mr. Cloutier.

“It must be said that the market volume, the United States, is non-existent currently. You have to realize that 80% of the catches of the eastern part of the country are sent in the u.s. market, and that Europe and China are buying a good part of what remains. Montreal is a very small market,” he notes.

Montreal is, however, a “market of choice” for the lobster quebec, underlines Raymond Sheehan, president of the company E. Gagnon and Sons, the largest buyer of lobster in the Gaspé peninsula.

If all the Sea were concentrated in the montréal market, it would have been flooded and it would have been impossible to have a reasonable price to justify going to sea, where the work in the coalition. This is where the 15 conditions submitted to the minister, Jordan will take the meaning.

“Fishing”partial

“This will be a fishing partial. It is necessary that there is a control of landings. Is it that it will pass through a volume maximum daily, by a decrease in the number of fishing days, numbers of traps, or a mixture of it all. We don’t know yet”, said O’neil Cloutier.

“As long as there is no solution for the u.s. market, we do not speak of price,” he adds.

Lobster harvesters have pushed for at least two weeks to the start of the capture, so until may 9, in the Gaspé peninsula instead of April 25.

The lobster would like to see the federal assistance for small businesses be increased from 40 000 $ to 100 000 $. “It is a loan. We would also like to than the floor of payroll was reduced from 50 000 to $ 20,000, ” says Mr. Cloutier.

Of the State of quebec, the lobster harvesters expect that the portion of loans for new boats contracted from the banks is guaranteed.

Security is an crucial element for the lobster. “In the Gaspé peninsula, 50 % of the boats are less than 30 feet. Can we respect the distance of two meters? We think not, or hardly,” he said.

In 2019, the lobster harvesters in quebec have delivered catches worth $ 145 million at the landing. Nearly 2000 have worked on the boats and in the plant.

Le Soleil

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