The fisheries sector on PEI includes all wild-caught aquatic species. The sector concentrates mainly on lobster, and also includes other species.
The industry directly employs over 2,000 people, and indirectly fuels employment in multiple product and service industries. Jobs range in length from six to 10 months in the lobster processing sector.
According to the Seafood Processors Association the seafood processing sector employs close to 9,000 people. The members provide local markets for thousands of fishing operations and jobs for thousands of people on the Island.
Work PEI, in collaboration with members of the PEI Seafood Processors Association, has launched a new employment portal for seafood processing jobs at www.workpei.ca/opsi/. “This is the best place for students looking for employment opportunities in seafood, because it will send their applications directly to employers in their chosen regions who are hiring,” says Jordan Bober, PEI Farm Team and Team Seafood.
The message is that the jobs most often run from May until December. Mussel and oyster production is year-round, and companies often offer benefits. More females are getting into these industries. Students can earn a good amount of money during the summer and during the school year because of the many hours of work available, and wages are increasing a bit each year.
Bursaries offered to encourage students to work in the seafood and agriculture sectors, click here
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Catch Certification Program Operations Centre, Tignish are still advertising jobs. During past connections at job fairs, staff indicated that retirement is starting to open positions within government. They continue to create a casual list. Those working on a casual basis are able to apply for internal jobs. The background required to be on the casual list is not extensive. It could be basic administration skills, so again it’s a great way to get your foot in the door.
Fisheries on Prince Edward Island – Company hiring practices
To further explore a career in aquaculture on PEI:
For a list of seafood companies, visit www.teamseafood.ca/processingcompanies
For a list of mussel producers, visit www.aquaculturepei.com/musselproducers.php
For a list of oyster producers, visit www.aquaculturepei.com/oysterproducers.php
For a list of finfish producers, visit www.aquaculturepei.com/finfishproducers.php
About the PEI seafood sector (approximate numbers)
- 4,150 commercial fishers
- 1,300 inshore fishing vessels
- 1,261 licensed lobster fishers
- 42 provincially licensed and federally registered export processing plants
- 17 major shellfish shippers
- Lobster: the spring season runs from May to June, and produces about 80 percent of the harvest. The fall season runs from mid-August to mid-October. PEI lobster companies produce a wide range of value- added products exported worldwide. PEI produces almost 20 percent of Canadian lobsters.
- Snow crab is the most important commercial crab species in eastern Canada.
- Rock crab is harvested April to October.
- Atlantic mackerel fishing season runs from June to December.
- The Bluefin tuna fishery is a commercial and sport industry. North Lake is known as the Tuna Capital of the World. Bluefin tuna is marketed globally.
- Herring fishing season runs from May to October.
- Smelt fishing season runs from October to February. Smelts are exported fresh and frozen to major markets in North America and Asia.
- Silversides fishing season runs from October to December. Most of the catch is sold as bait and zoo food.
- Irish moss is a perennial sea plant harvested along the shore line. The season runs from June to October.
For more information about the Fisheries sector on PEI:
- PEI Fisherman’s Association Ltd. | www.tastepeilobster.ca
- PEI Seafood Processors Association | www.peispa.com
- Lobster Fishers of PEI Marketing Board | www.lobsterpei.ca
- PEI Department of Fisheries and Communities | www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/fisheries-and-communities
- Department of Fisheries and Oceans | www.dfo–mpo.gc.ca/stats/cfs–spc/tab/cfs–spc–tab2–eng.htm
- Central Northumberland Strait Fishermen’s Association
- Eastern Kings Fishermen’s Association
- North Shore Fishermen’s Association
- Southern Kings and Queens Fishermen’s Association
- Western Gulf Fishermen’s Association
|Click to find videos of fishers telling their stories.|
|See "Not Humble", a video developed by the departments of Fisheries and Communities and Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture.|
|Click for related articles on Fisheries.|