The Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec has rejected the request for arbitration of the lobster price for weeks 3, 4 and 5 of the 2020 season, filed by the Islands Lobster Board.
In a decision rendered on June 23, the Régie agreed that the Board had not followed the process set out in the Marketing Agreement to formulate its request, which indicates that the Price Committee must decide no later than the Friday of each week whether an adjustment is justified.
Yet the arbitration request was filed by the Board in September 2021, more than a year after the end of the 2020 season.
Citing decisions from 2014, 2016 and 2017, the Régie considers that the previous applications for arbitration were in compliance and that they reflect an interpretation of the text of the agreement shared by both the Agency and the Quebec Fishing Industry Association.
The Régie concluded its decision by pointing out that the text of the article in question is clear and that the parties have always acted in accordance with the mechanism agreed upon by them.
Contacted on this subject, the Board mentions that it will not issue any comments at this point and that it will evaluate the matter once the fishing season is over.
The parties involved have 30 days to contest the Board’s decision before the Tribunal administratif du Québec.
It should be noted that at the beginning of the 2021 season, fishers and industry agreed on a new marketing agreement, a move welcomed by both organizations.