Federal and provincial governments announced a $3 million investment Thursday to help P.E.I. fishermen adopt efficient hybrid or even electric engines to power their boats.
Ian MacPherson, senior adviser for the Prince Edward Island Fishermen's Association, said the pilot project will not only help the environment, and get P.E.I. closer to its goal of net-zero carbon emmissions, but also cut ever-increasing fuel costs for fishermen.
"It's always an evolving landscape in fishing in terms of profitability and viability and so anything we can do to help reduce costs and if a subset of that is to help the environment, and reduce carbon emissions, we see it as a win-win."
Aspin Kemp & Associates, an engineering company based in P.E.I., showcased its new diesel-electric hybrid model for the first time at a boat show in Moncton, N.B., April 8-10
Made by P.E.I. company
The hybrid-fishing boats operate on electricity when on the water fishing, and convert back to diesel when sailing back into port.
Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey believes fishermen will be on board to make the change.
"It's important that the fishing industry here in Prince Edward Island send a clear message to their consumer in the marketplace that fishers are serious about carbon emissions," he said.
"And I truly believe in 10 years, we'll see the common power amongst fishing boats being a combination of hybrid-electric and diesel."
The P.E.I. Fishermen's Association hopes to launch the first hybrid test boats in the fall, but it will be next summer before the full pilot is underway.