PEI Gulf of St. Lawrence Redfish Fishery

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On Prince Edward Island, a significant increase in the Gulf of St. Lawrence redfish stock is spurring an interest in reopening the once-important fishery. A moratorium on redfish harvests has been in place in the Gulf for nearly 25 years.

The provincial government wants to ensure Prince Edward Island gets its fair share of the redfish quota when Ottawa reopens the industry in the future.

“The Island was a major player in the redfish industry until the moratorium was put in place in 1995 and we want to see that same success in the future,” said Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Robert Henderson. “We are aware there are competing interests for access and that we need to approach this in a way that is equitable for the provinces and sustainable for the industry.”

The redfish species, which is a deep-water groundfish has notably increased in size recently due to three strong years of population growth. Today, it is estimated that there is 2.5 million tonnes of redfish in the gulf. PEI had its first recorded redfish landings in 1959 and harvested the stock up to the time of the moratorium.

During the last major period of fishing in the 1980s and early 90s, over 50 trawler men and 300 employees from the Island worked at a year-round fish plant in eastern PEI.

source: Government of Prince Edward Island