‘Dumping Day’ docked by blustery forecasts in effort to make lobster hunt safer

Safety is of the utmost importance to today’s lobster fishers. And safety holds special significance for old-timers to whom the precautionary measures are a mournful reminder of sailors who paid the ultimate price in pursuit of Canada’s most valuable sea-dwelling commodity. “We try to make Dumping Day safe as we can,” says longtime lobsterman Ashton Spinney. “Still, there’s danger … Unforeseen accidents happen. “Spinney is a member of the body that oversees Lobster Fishing Area 34 (LFA 34) in southwestern Nova Scotia — an approximately New Jersey-sized body of water that has the largest catches of Canada’s 41 lobster fishing districts. Canada’s billion-dollar lobster business remains the most lucrative fishery the country and a crucial economic engine on the East Coast, employing about 30,000 harvesters in the Atlantic provinces. Spinney, who is coming up on his 60th Dumping Day, says in his early years, fishers would set out to sea in up to 130 kilometre per hour winds, restricted only by time and nautical nerve. He says the rules have since changed to only allow boats to set sail if the weather permits safe travel. Contingencies like this have likely spared lives in recent years, Spinney says, but still today, every angler risks life and limb upon exiting the harbour. – Read the rest here 11:21