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Atlantic Fisheries Fund success stories: Prince Edward Island

Since 2017, the Atlantic Fisheries Fund program has provided essential funding to more than 850 businesses in the fish and seafood sector across Atlantic Canada to support innovation, improve infrastructure and develop and sustain science partnerships.

Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association: Simple and inexpensive technologies make all the difference

The Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) had an ambitious goal:  maintain the vitality of lobsters landed at the wharf. To tackle this project, they needed the best technologies available. In this instance, the best technologies turned out to be the simplest ones.

With the financial support of the Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF), the PEIFA offered lobster harvesters funding to purchase boat canopies, insulated holding tanks, automatic claw banders and recirculation systems.

Opting for simple and inexpensive, yet very effective technologies, was one of the keys to the success of the project as it made it possible for a large proportion of harvesters to adopt them.

About 830 harvesters of the eligible 1,200 PEIFA members participated in the program, with an average investment of $4,500 per harvester.

It didn’t take long for participants to realize their investment would pay off. The new on-vessel equipment kept their catches cooler and away from rain water, which is critical for lobster health and vitality. Canopies keep the lobsters in an environment as much as 10 degrees colder than if they were exposed to direct sunlight. As a result, lobsters landed were healthier and more vigorous than before.

Landing healthier, stronger lobsters opens doors for higher income for harvesters as the catch they bring to shore is at peak quality. Over the course of 2021 and 2022, the lobster industry has seen a substantial increase in the value of the landed product. While there are a number of factors contributing to the price increases, lobster vitality is a contributing factor as more lobsters are able to be shipped into the lucrative live market.

Learn more about the PEIFA on their website.

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