PICTOU - The Department of Fisheries has received a formal request from Island fishermen to increase minimum legal carapace size.
A Department of Fisheries spokeswoman said the request from the PEI Fishermen's Association to increase the minimum legal carapace sizes for the lobster fishery came for areas 24 and 26A after a survey was taken by members in the association.
In LFA 26A, 234 out of 355 commercial lobster fishermen, 66 per cent, responded while LFA 24 had a 70.4 per cent response rate, 423 out of 601 eligible fishermen.
The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association website recently showed that 62 per cent of respondents in the eastern end of the province, LFA 26A are in favour of a one millimeter increase in 2018 and another millimeter increase in 2020 and that 58 per cent of the LFA 24 respondents are in favour of a millimeter increase in the spring of 2018.
DFO will now consult other harvesters who fish in areas 24 and 26A, but were not included in the survey. This includes First Nations and Aboriginal groups and fishermen on the Nova Scotia side of Lobster Fishing Area 26A. It will make a decision on the PEIFA request before the beginning of the lobster season in 2018.
If accepted it would put the carapace measure to 73 mm. Prince Edward Island’s fall fishermen were fishing a 75-mm lobster this year and are scheduled to have a 77-mm minimum measure next year.