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Lobster fishermen will not vote next season

Lobster capture. (Photo Credit:

Click on the flag for more information about CanadaCANADA 
Friday, October 31, 2014, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
Federal Fisheries Ministry head Gail Shea has accepted a facilitator’s recommendation for no lobster ballot industry vote to take place next fishing season in Nova Scotia.
This recommendation was made by former provincial deputy fisheries minister Greg Roach, who was appointed as a facilitator to help the industry wade through the issue of a ballot vote, The Vanguard reported.
This ballot vote has always been held before the commercial lobster fishery starts in Yarmouth and parts of Shelburne and Digby counties at the end of a debate to decide whether changes are needed in an attempt to control landings and better prices.
“Fishermen are always welcome to bring forward proposals aiming at making their industry more profitable. However, over the next two years we don’t envision taking measures that would facilitate another vote in LFA 34,” pointed out Shea.
The latest ballot vote took place in the spring, when most licence holders voted against a trap reduction measure, which has been considered to be proposed for two seasons.
Roach explained that the intention was to avoid the anger and confusion over the wording of the ballot that took place last year. Therefore, the facilitator held consultation meetings with fishermen that formed the basis of a ballot that was voted on in late May and early June.
“From our end, we will continue to work on opening new markets for our world-class seafood as well as following up on the Lobster Panel (report) recommendations,” stressed Shea.
This year's lobster season begins on 24 November, which gives fishermen a full week of fishing at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, a vote to decide if Prince Edward Island lobster fishermen will participate in a levy to help pay for promoting their catch is expected later this week, The Canadian Press reported.
Ian MacPherson of the PEI Fishermen's Association (PEIFA) says he hopes fishermen will take the lead in a plan to invest more in their own industry.
Both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are considering a similar levy and the Lobster Council of Canada has advocated a Maritime joint campaign.
However, New Brunswick appears reluctant to participate in a joint project and Nova Scotia has delayed its levy plans.
The PEIFA supports the creation of a marketing board.
"The next step would be for us to go to the membership again and see if they would support forming a marketing board and we would have a business plan laid out and a set of bylaws and a very clear direction in terms of where the funds would be allocated," stressed PEIFA executive director Ian MacPherson, as it was reported by CBC News.

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