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Low Interest Loans for P.E.I Lobster Industry

Economics Politics +2 more

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, CANADA - The provincial government of Prince Edward Island is renewing and expanding a low interest loan programme for fishers, says Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Neil LeClair.

Fishers across this province are experiencing financial struggles due to causes that range from low shore prices, to increasing costs and the global recession. We are renewing and expanding the low interest loan program because we know there are fishers who have good prospects for long-term sustainability provided they are able to get some help with their current financial challenges, Minister LeClair said.

The renewed program follows on its successful introduction in 2007-08. At that time, approximately 150 fishers in LFAs 25 and 26A were approved for loans totalling about $20 million. The program is a component of the provinces Five Point Lobster Plan, announced in the spring of this year. The Five Point Plan is specifically designed to build strength and sustainability within the lobster fishery - while assisting fishers with the current global economic downturn.

In the renewed program, fishers in Lobster Fishing Areas 24, 25 and 26A with net cash positions less than $40,000 will be eligible for loans on their fishing related debts. The program will be administered by the Prince Edward Island Lending Agency and supported by the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development.

The loans will be provided at an interest rate of four per cent for a term of five years. Eligible expenses which can be consolidated under this program must be attributed to the fishery. Assistance will be available only to fishers who held a lobster licence in 2008 or 2009.

The program will be opened immediately and applications will be accepted until June 30, 2010.

This government recognizes the contribution the lobster industry has made to the development of our rural communities, and this program is an indication of our belief in this industry as a major pillar of our Island economy, said the Minister.

Guidelines for the renewed program can be obtained from the PEI Lending Agency or the department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development or by visiting the Department website at