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N.B., PEI lobster fishermen don’t agree on carapace size at meeting

This lobster fits into the 73mm category that fishermen from New Brunswick are hoping will be the minimum size allowed for fishing.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

A delegation of lobster fishermen from Prince Edward Island walked out of a meeting Wednesday in an escalating dispute over carapace sizes.

The Maritime Fishermen's Union wants to move the minimum carapace size to 77 millimetres, something Island fishermen are opposed to.

Mike McGeoghegan, president of the Prince Edward Island Fishermen's Association, says increasing the size is unwise and not financially profitable for PEI.

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The two groups were meeting in Moncton, N.B., and Mr. McGeoghegan says the Island delegation left following the union's presentation and after a Feb. 6 date was set for PEI's response.

The carapace measure increases by one millimetre to 72 mm this year — as far as PEI fishermen want to go, fearing further increases will eat away at their niche market for canner lobsters.

The union, which wasn't available for comment, is pushing to go to 73 mm next year and to keep climbing until the minimum measure hits 77 mm.

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