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LFA 33-34 Lobster Prices All Over the Map

The talk on the wharves prior to the opening of the lobster fishery in LFA 33-34 on Nov. 28 was that things would be different this year regarding price. Last year’s benign weather conditions allowed some harvesters to operate every day for the first 28 of the season. Everything was sold at a decent price, including lower grade stuff, from opening day with prices topping off in some niches at $15/pound in February. How things have changed. With February on the cusp, most harvesters ...

Owner-Operator Policy Legal Challenge Withdrawn

A legal challenge to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans owner-operator policy could have set a legal precedent that would threaten the future of the independent inshore fishery, some in the industry believed. The owner-operator policy was enacted to ensure that ownership of inshore fishing vessels remained in the hands of inshore fishermen, not corporate entities. The case, which was scheduled to be heard Feb. 28, involved Kirby Elson, a Labrador snow crab fisherman and the federal ...

A More Challenging Lobster Season

Lower Landings, Stormy Days Didn’t Lead to Immediate Price Increases Same quality, lower quantities and strong demand but lower prices — so what gives? This is the question most lobstermen in LFA 34 (western and southwestern Nova Scotia) are asking themselves as the heady days of Christmas are over and attention now turns to the Chinese New Year and Valentines Day. Last year, at this time, some harvesters landed product 28 days in a row. This year, high winds cancelled the initial ...

Fish Kill an Enigma Inside a Maze, So Far

Finding dead fish, shellfish and whales along the jagged coastline of southwestern Nova Scotia isn’t a rarity. These species, like us humanoids, expire from natural causes after a number of years — the way of all flesh. The shoreline around Port Maitland, for example, has seen its share of dead whales washing up on its pristine sandy beaches. I well remember a whole slew of pothead whales committing suicide on that beach years ago, the carcases unceremoniously buried on the site by a ...

Trump Trade Threats May Not Amount to Much

The election of Donald Trump as president of the most powerful country in the world wasn’t an isolated incident, as other countries — especially in Europe — blazed the trail by electing people opposing global trade agreements and wide open immigration policies. Great Britain led the way with its opposition to the European Union and voted narrowly to opt out of the organization. France and Germany also have ultra-right wingers vying for top political offices, with free trade arrang...

New Entrants to Fishery Need to Meet Exact DFO Criteria

Acquiring a fishing license used to be as easy as walking up to your local DFO office and springing a few bucks and voila, you could legally prosecute this fishery. There were a lot of loopholes with this scenario, chief of which was that non-fishermen would take their vacations during the opening weeks of the lobster fishing season in LFA 34, for example, acquire a license and reap the benefits then go back to their day jobs. This policy was finally changed, limiting the licenses to ...

Valuable and Lucrative LFA 33-34 Season Kicks Off

Nor’easters are not a fishermen’s friend, especially on dumping day of the lobster fishery. One was predicted to visit the weekend leading up to November 28, the day when over 1,600 lobstermen from Eastern Passage, Halifax County, to Digby, Nova Scotia, were due to set over half a million lobster pots to usher the beginning of the winter season in LFA 33-34. The storm veered more to the north than predicted and most of the key lobster sites in the areas were spared near hurricane ...

Asian Markets Could Lead to Record Opening Day Prices in LFA 33-34

The lobster fishery in LFA (lobster fishing area) 33-34 closed on a very high note at the end of May with harvesters receiving $6/pound for their catch, the same amount paid at the opening of the season in late November 2015 a far cry from the $3.25/pound earned just a few short years ago. And if landings in LFA 35 (southeastern part of New Brunswick and an area from Digby back to the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia in the Bay of Fundy) are any indication, the fishing season which opens Nov. 29, ...

EU Trade Deal the Perfect Christmas Gift for Our Fishing Industry

Christmas is a time for fellowship and giving, where, for a very brief period in time, an aura of peace and goodwill that seems to permeate the psyche of many of us, placing what we perceive as ill winds at bay, at least for a few weeks. The problem is, when we awake from the festivities, the ever-so-brief lull which is like medication to dull the pain does nothing to solve the cause of the pain. Free trade deals between nations have become a fact of life and as with most deals there are ...

Positive Results from N.S. Herring Fishery

The herring purse seine fishery based off Yarmouth and Pubnico, Nova Scotia ended Oct. 1 and has been labelled as a decent season. This fishery has run the gamut of mega-TACs (total allowable catch) in the 1970s-1980s when fish meal and oil plants were in full swing, to the roe fishery which severely put a dent in the biomass as half the harvested herring were unceremoniously dumped back at sea due to the lack of markets. The fishery literally collapsed and went from a sector which saw ...