Western Gulf fishers discuss dual license proposal

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Members of the Western Gulf Fishermen’s Association discussed the possibility of holding both a spring and a fall lobster licence at a meeting on Feb. 13 at the Alberton Curling Club.

Back in 2015, fishers in the zone, which comprises the Western Prince County portion of Area 24 (the spring lobster fishery in the Gulf of St Lawrence), voted 87 per cent in favour of being able to hold both a spring and fall licence. Fishers in Area 25 (the fall lobster fishery in the Northumberland Strait) also voted in favour of the idea of holding two licences in the same name.

Since that time, a committee of fishers from both local associations has been developing a proposal to be presented to both associations. If it wins approval, it will then be presented to DFO. If it’s put in place, the proposal would only relate to the portion of Area 24 represented by the Western Gulf Association and the P.E.I. portion of Area 25.

The February meeting gave Western Gulf fishers an opportunity to discuss the work done so far and to vote on the issue.

The meeting also included discussion on carapace size. Area 24 fishers earlier voted to leave the carapace size at its current 72 millimetres. The minimum size in Area 25 this season will be 75 millimetres as part of a three-year plan to bring the size to 77 millimetres by 2018.

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