Government to Loan Lobster Industry $11 million


NEGUAC, N.B. — The lobster industry is set to receive a much needed boost in the form of an $11-million loan from the provincial government to “rationalize the East Coast lobster fleet.”

“This is an exciting day for the lobster industry,” said New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham in a recent announcement about the plan. “We have been working towards rationalizing this fleet for several years, and I am pleased to see such fantastic results from our collaboration. Together we are supporting an industry-driven innovative solution to this long-standing concern.”

Interest-free for the first five years, the loan, which will fund the buy back of some 13 per cent of the province’s lobster-fishing licences, will be repaid over 10 years. “We are pleased to have been able to successfully work with government on this important initiative,” said Andre Martin, president of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. “Once in place, the rationalization plan will make it possible for our industry members to collectively buy back boats and licenses to reduce the number of enterprises vying for limited resources. At the same time, it will allow those who wish to retire to do so with dignity.”

This news comes after a 2008/09 government commitment to improve financial assistance for fisheries.

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