Spring lobster season on P.E.I. delayed due to weather

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will decide Monday whether to open P.E.I.'s spring lobster fishery on Tuesday.

Setting day was originally scheduled for Monday, but DFO has delayed the opening due to high winds, according to a department spokesperson Steve Hachey.

He said the decision came after consulting with industry representatives on Saturday.

"For the safety of all involved, the season opening will be delayed until the weather improves," he said in an email to CBC. "We will continue to monitor the conditions."

It does cause some disruption, we won't deny that, but safety is first. — Ian MacPherson

A conference call between DFO and industry representatives is scheduled for Monday morning to discuss if it is safe to open the lobster season on Tuesday.

About 1,100 fishermen take part in the spring fishery. The spring season is in lobster fishing areas 24 and 26A, which run from North Cape, along the North Shore and into the Northumberland Strait to Victoria.

John Robertson/CBC
John Robertson/CBC

Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, said fishermen are hoping to get on the water soon.

"There's always that anxious nervousness to get going," he said.

"Months of preparation have gone in and people plan schedules, have bait and all kinds of things teed up and so … it does cause some disruption, we won't deny that, but safety is first and that's the focus."

The spring lobster season runs until the end of June. MacPherson said he hopes DFO will extend the season accordingly if a number of days are lost at the beginning.

"We're really hoping that those same number of days for a full season are obtained so we'll just have to wait and see how that plays out."

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