The McGeoghegan Family
The McGeoghegan family seems to have fishing in their blood, but it’s obvious their commitment goes well beyond a love of life in a lobster boat. Both Charlie and his dad Mike have invested a lot of personal time ensuring the success of the sector. Both have sat on numerous boards and committees and both have taken a serious interest in the science of the Prince Edward Island lobster stocks.
“I think lobster fishing takes more than dropping traps and seeing what comes up,” says Charlie. “Dad and I have always enjoyed comparing notes and trying different techniques, looking for the most effective ways to attract and handle lobsters. To be really successful in this business, I believe you need to think like a lobster.”
For a number of years Charlie and Mike each had their own fleet so they were well equipped to observe and compare patterns in the fishery. More than that, they actively participated in research programs that led to more data on the life cycle of the lobster, and the health of the stocks in the waters around PEI. For the past 20 years Island fishers have collaborated with government to collect data on the status of the lobster resource and details such as location, trap type, depth, carapace size, sex, and presence of eggs. The reports provided by voluntary participants have yielded a rich supply of information about the mysterious PEI lobster.
“It is a fact that in PEI the lobster fishers are serious about managing the industry, and based on that, they have actively contributed to the research programs and the shaping of the regulations,” says Charlie.
In addition to his role as Chair of the Lobster Fishers of PEI, Charlie is a volunteer member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. But Charlie McGeoghegan does not spend all his time in board rooms and committee meetings. He is most content when he is out on the water with wife Connie and his daughter in his hand-made wooden 45-footer called “Boards ‘n Glue”.
“The salt air, the beauty of the ocean, and the challenge of hunting down lobsters – it’s a good life,” says Charlie.