P.E.I. lobster prices head back up just as 2021 season ends

·2 min read
Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Board, says the industry is 'quite happy with the way things went' this season in comparison to last year. (Elizabeth Casoni/Facebook - image credit)
Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Board, says the industry is 'quite happy with the way things went' this season in comparison to last year. (Elizabeth Casoni/Facebook - image credit)

With Saturday officially marking the last day of the spring lobster season on Prince Edward Island, fishermen are happy this year went better than 2020.

Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Board, said overall it was a "very good year" for lobster fishers.

"Our industry is quite happy with the way things went when you compare it to last year — and many other years, actually," McGeoghegan said. "It's a welcome change for sure."

Last year, there were a lot of issues for P.E.I.'s lobster crews. The season was delayed two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns for the safety of boat crews, who couldn't really observe physical distancing, and questions over the demand for lobster. The season was extended by four days, but losing 10 days still hurt last year's overall catch numbers and prices.

This year, prices started high — the highest P.E.I. crews have seen in 15 years. But in late May, prices dropped by about $2 a pound.

McGeoghegan said prices stayed that way until two weeks ago, when they rose even higher than they had been at the start of the season.

Fishermen sold their catches to some buyers at $9 a pound for canners and $10 for markets, and others at $10 for canners and $11 for markets, McGeoghegan said.

The bulk of this year's catch was sold during the period of lower prices, said McGeoghegan.

"It's still encouraging to see the high demand for lobster and that was the reason for the price increase," he said. "We still don't see the justification of the price drop after the first week, but that's part of the business."

The province has not yet released landing numbers for this season, but McGeoghegan estimates they will be comparable to 2019.

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