Seafood sector is making waves on PEI
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.
According to the 2018 Prince Edward Island Economic Update, the fishery continues to be an important sector on Prince Edward Island, and demand for Island seafood products remains strong. Labour shortages, an issue in 2018, are projected to continue into 2019 in numerous industries, including construction, aquaculture, fish processing and agriculture, retail sales and accommodation and food services.
According to the 45th Annual Statistical Review released in July, 2019, the value of total fish landings in 2018 decreased by 9.1 percent to $294.5 million, following an all time high in 2017. Molluscs and crustaceans continue to be the top species of the Island fishery comprising 95.3 percent of the total value of all fish landings.
Fisheries on Prince Edward Island – Hiring practices
- Acadian Supreme Inc., Wellington
- Atlantic Aqua Farms, Orwell Cove
- Beach Point Processing Company, Beach Point
- Fisheries and Ocean Canada, Tignish
- Hydraulic Power Plus 2014 Inc., Cardigan
- PEI Mussel King, Morell
- Royal Stars Foods, Jude's Point
- Seafood 2000 Ltd., Georgetown
- South Shore Seafood Ltd., Bloomfield
- Western Custom Traps, Tignish
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
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