CANADA : subsidies for lobster fishermen

Lobster fishermen in Prince Edward Island are facing very depressed prices for their produce. The situation is so serious that politicians in that Canadian province, but also at federal level, are scrambling to help fishermen wheather the storm.

According to the Canadian media the plan, worked out by the Province government looks as follows:

- Province will buy surplus canners (lobster one pound and under) for storage and later sale.
- Province will extend low-interest loan plan.
- Joint federal-provincial marketing promotion worth CAD 4 million (USD 3.5 million).
- Changes to Employment Insurance rules.
- Reduction in number of lobster licences by way of a buy-back programme.

The Provincial authorities are putting CAD 8 million (USD 7 million) into the plan, but it needs agreement from the federal government for changes to the Employment Insurance program for fishermen, to allow buyback of lobster licences and take part in a jointly funded marketing promotion.

Here is the link to the CBC's website giving the news:


Interesting to note is that the Federal Fisheries Minister, Ms Gail Shea, was very reluctant to provide federal support to lobster fishermen ("no federal price subsidies, no federal buying of lobster"). She was also quoted as saying that "providing Maritimes lobster fishermen with subsidies in this time of low prices would violate Canada's trade agreement with the United States".

And the links on Minister Shea's statements:



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