A family history

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Lobster fishing in Atlantic Canada is often a family affair. Skills, equipmentand an appreciation for a day spent at seaare shared from generation to generation. This holds true for Michael Ramsay, a fisher from Campbellton, PEI.

Starting out on his dad’s boat at 18 and striking out on his own eight years later, Ramsay has been a lobster fisher for the past 14 years. “I’m already looking forward to next season,” he says, “there’s nothing I’d rather do.”

Although passionate about his career, Ramsay says there are certain challenges that come with being your own boss and being in the lobster fishing industry. “The price of lobster is a big thing in this industry and you always have to think about the impact of the weather and taking care of your equipment and gear.”

As a fisher, your gear is your greatest resource. So, Ramsay takes extra measures to make sure his dozens of traps are well maintained before each season. “You’ve got to upkeep all your equipment. If you’ve got good gear, you’ve got a really good chance of a successful season.”

Like fishing, the Ramsay family has a strong history with their local credit union, “My father has banked with Évangéline-Central Credit Union for many years, and they helped me get funding for my first fishing license almost a decade ago. It means a lot when you’ve got someone in your corner.”  Although working for himself felt risky at the time, the advice helped put his nerves at ease. “The Fall catch and the price of lobster was shaky, but we took the time and found a way to make it work.”

Each fishing season is unpredictable, but with the right planning Ramsay has been able to purchase new engines, and another boat. “I still love being on the water. It has its days, but the good ones will always outweigh the bad.”