New record season for Madelinot lobster fishers

New record season for Madelinot lobster fishers

BET À DAY

The 2022 lobster fishing season, which ended last Saturday in the Magdalen Islands, resulted in new records, both for the number of catches and in landed value.

According to data from the Office of Lobster Fishermen of the Islands (OPHIM), catches totaled more than 14.7 million pounds this year, an increase of 24% compared to compared to last year. This year's result is also higher than the 2020 record, which was 13.4 million pounds.

The president of the Gathering of fishermen and fisherwomen of the coasts of the Islands (RPPCI), Charles Poirier, attributes the record catches to the excellent weather conditions that prevailed throughout the season. “We had a lot of temperature with light wind, lulls, he explains. That's what made the lobster so good. In years past, […] four, five days in the whole spring, it was said to be a good year. But there, this year, more than half of the days were calm days. This is unheard of!”

“It is a very exceptional season! exclaims for her part Ruth Taker, general manager of the Cap Dauphin Fishermen's Cooperative in Grosse-Île, who sometimes had to call on additional people to lend a hand to her hundred employees, as the deliveries at the quay were so important. We got organized in one way or another, but already, for next year, the board of directors has decided to apply for 25 foreign workers.”

< strong>Record Value

As for the weighted average price paid at the dock in 2022, it fell from $8.39 per pound last year to $8.02 per pound this year, which represents a decrease of 6%.

< p>The director general of the Association québécoise de l'industrie de la pêche (AQIP), Jean-Paul Gagné, nevertheless points out that with the record volumes delivered to the quay, the six buyers registered in the joint plan for lobster from the have paid out $118 million against the feat of $102 million in 2021.

“It's a very good season in the current inflationary circumstances, he underlines. Lobster performs very well compared to other species, such as shrimp and crab. The price remained affordable for the consumer. That's what's important.”

The interim president of OPHIM, Rolland Turbide, admits that the price paid at the dock is reasonable. “We would take more all the time, but $8.02 a pound is satisfactory because everywhere in the Maritimes it is less than that, he notes. So, we have to be realistic. You have to go with the market too. We understand the producers; for once, we agree with them!”