Tag Archives: lobster

Ventless trap survey seeks industry participants

The Maine Department of Marine Resources, in cooperation with the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, is seeking industry participants for the Regional Ventless Trap Program through a competitive bid process. The cooperative research project between industry and scientists from Maine to New York seeks data on relative lobster abundance and size distribution. All traps, line and buoys will be supplied to participating fishermen, >click to read< 10:14

P.E.I.’s fall lobster fishermen raise concerns about ghost fishing

A fisheries officer attending the annual meeting of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association said the amount of lost or abandoned lobster gear retrieved from the Northumberland Strait lobster grounds after the fall season ended was “extremely high  said fisheries officer Anthony Cheverie. Cheverie said gear was retrieved throughout Lobster Fishing Area 25 (LFA 25), which takes in fishermen from P.E.I., New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Laura Ramsay, with the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said fishermen are concerned about the amount of lost gear and agreed Canadian regulations “make it hard for fishermen to help go clean up that gear”. Gear Innovation Summit planned for Feb. 11, 12,  >click to read< 10:20

Fishermen clash over fishing rights across the Maritimes, tensions are running high

Canada’s highest court has refused to hear a Mi’kmaw fisherman’s appeal to have legal costs covered in a lawsuit against Ottawa – a potentially groundbreaking case seeking to define treaty fishing rights. The case comes as clashes between non-Indigenous and Indigenous fishermen intensify across the Maritimes. Observers warn the simmering tensions could lead to violence if the “moderate livelihood” fishery described in Donald Marshall Jr. case two decades ago is not clarified.  “By not dealing with it, the government is responsible for continued conflict in the fishery.” >click to read< 08:55

The U.S.- China trade agreement will slow Canadian lobster sales to China

Even though a new U.S.-China trade agreement does not eliminate heavy Chinese tariffs, the deal will result in a loss of Canadian seafood sales to China,,, Canadian live lobster exports to China, mostly from Nova Scotia, soared after China slapped retaliatory tariffs of 35 per cent on U.S. lobsters. U.S. lobster exports tanked while Canadian sales jumped,,, The new trade deal does not lower those tariffs. But China has pledged to buy $32 billion worth of American agricultural products over the next two years, including lobster and other seafood products. >click to read< 17:38

“Earlier in the season it looked like it could be bad,” – Maine lobster landings down about 16% last year, commissioner says, but still beat expectations

“They caught a lot of lobsters in the last few months of the year and made up a lot of ground.” Keliher told the show’s hosts that initial landing reports suggest the lobster industry would finish 2019 with a 100 million-pound harvest. If that number holds, it would be 16 percent lower than 2018’s 119.6 million pounds landed, and nearly 15 percent less than the five-year average. On Tuesday, Keliher said Maine’s most valuable fishery, which had a dock value of $485 million in 2018, seemed to be in good shape. >click to read< 08:22

Maine Seeks to Aid Lobstermen as Federal Whale Protections Loom

On Friday, the state’s Department of Marine Resources released a plan it says protects the endangered whales and lobstermen, whom the feds say need to do more to prevent traps and lines from killing the whale. Maine’s suggestions include having lobstermen use ropes with weak points the whales could easily break and calls for a 25% reduction in the amount of vertical trap lines. >click to read< 08:29

Maine Plan Aims To Reduce Lobstering Impact On Right Whales – The Maine Department of Marine Resources tweaked its October proposal to balance the needs of lobstermen while protecting the whales,,, >click to read< 09:32

Maine Lobstermen Skeptical Of Proposal To Tie ‘Whale-Safe’ Seafood Label To Use Of New Fishing Gear. They should be.

A movement is emerging among conservation groups to create a “whale-safe” seal of approval for lobster caught with new types of gear designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. But it could be a tough sell in Maine, where some say the iconic fishery is already sustainable.,, “That’s really important, that fishermen willing to test this gear, and certainly those fishermen fishing with ropeless gear should be rewarded,” says Erica Fuller, a lawyer at the Conservation Law Foundation, one of several organizations suing the federal government for stronger protections of the roughly 400 North Atlantic right whales remaining on the planet. >click to read< 10:36

Hauling lobster traps for the season

TJ Faulkingham, David Black and Lucky Skidgell helped each other load up their lobster traps in Belfast Harbor Dec. 4 to be taken home and stored until spring. After a season of bait shortages, looming restrictions and decreased lobster take, it is impossible to know what next season will bring, they said. Their take was off by 40% this season compared to previous years. Photos, >click to read<  12:41

Nova Scotia Lobster Exports: ‘Nothing else in our province comes close to it’.

Thousands of kilograms of live Nova Scotia lobster take off from the Halifax Stanfield International Airport everyday, shipped in bulk across the globe, often destined for customers in the United States, Europe and increasingly, Asia.,, However, the future of Nova Scotia’s lobster fishery isn’t as rosy as some would assume. A combination of historic landing rates, lobster politics and tighter regulations could impact fishers across the province. >click to read<  08:27

U.S.-China trade war is a boon for Atlantic Canada’s lobster harvesters. But what’s the catch?

Exports of Canadian lobster rose to a record $266-million from $112-million in the 18 months between January, 2018, and June, 2019. Meanwhile, U.S. exports have plummeted, especially in Maine, where live lobster exports to China collapsed by 81 per cent between June, 2018, and the same month this year. It’s all pumping millions of dollars into Atlantic Canada, fuelling a boat-building boom, sending pickup-truck sales soaring and giving lobster crews six-figure salaries, a significant raise from the recent past. >click to read< 10:17

Letter: We need to find new markets for lobsters

To the editor, At one time I sold thousands of pounds of live lobsters. I shipped not only in the states but also abroad. Twenty years ago we had an advantage here on the East Coast. The Canadians did not allow lobstering in the summer months and would open their season in November. Back then our local boats would call it quits because the lobsters here would go in deeper waters because the water inshore was too cold. So the Canadians would benefit since our lobsterman would wait to spring to trap again. Sam Parisi >click to read< 06:11

Photo Gallery: The view from Cape Forchu Lighthouse as Yarmouth Harbour lobster fishing fleet sets sail for the season

Many made the trip to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse to watch the 7 a.m. departure of the lobster fishing fleet from Yarmouth Harbour on Nov. 26. The event has been a long-held tradition and is an impressive sight as vessels, piled high with traps, set sail for the fishing grounds. >click to view< 07:48

Weather delays opening day of lobster season in southwest N.S.

Rather than heading out to sea to set their gear on Monday, Nov. 25, strong winds have kept fishermen ashore an extra day. A decision was made during industry conference calls on Monday morning to go with a Tuesday, Nov. 26 opening. Rather than leaving the wharves at the normal 6 a.m. time in LFA 34 (in southwestern Nova Scotia) the decision was to push the start back to 7 a.m. LFA 33, which stretches along the province’s South Shore, will also have a 7 a.m. start on Tuesday. >click to read< 10:57

Dumping Day Weather Delay in Southwest Nova Scotia

Dumping day traditionally takes place on the last Monday of November, weather permitting. This year the weather will not permit that to happen. Years ago, DFO and the LFA 34 industry advisory committee put in place an opening day protocol that dictates any winds forecasted above 25 knots will automatically trigger a postponement,, In LFA 33 on the province’s south shore boats will also stay ashore Monday. As an LFA 34 industry conference call was underway Saturday morning, a gale warning for the region,, >click to read<  15:56

Nova Scotia upping its game on lobster quality

An internationally recognized quality standard for holding lobsters will be among the new regulations for the recently amended provincial Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act. “Nova Scotia will be the only place in the world that has it,” said Minister Keith Colwell in an interview. “We have companies in Europe and Asia that are gearing up to our standard now and they will be buying only from Nova Scotia or anywhere else in the world that meets our standard, so that’s really positive. >click to read< 21:45

Lobster boat crew accused of catching 116 undersized lobsters

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said the crew of a commercial fishing boat is facing federal charges for an illegal lobster catch. DEM said environmental police officers responded last week to Point Judith, where they helped NOAA officials inspect the catch of lobster boat that was fishing in federal waters.,,, DEM did not name the fishing boat or the people facing charges. >click to read< 10:13

Charting new waters aboard the Nellie Row

There will be an all-female crew aboard the Nellie Row when the LFA 33 lobster fishery opens this fall. “They want the opportunity and its hard to get the opportunity when you’re a woman,” says Captain Gail Atkinson, who along with her partner Kath Moore are going into their fifth season at the helm of the Nellie Row. Joining Moore on deck this season will be fellow sea salts Annie Featherstone and Sophie Mantel. Both have experience on the water in the tall ship world, said Atkinson, but not on fishing boats. “I don’t know if they can do it or not. I don’t know if they know whether they can but I want them to have a chance,” said Atkinson. >click to read< 06:46

Vinalhaven lobsterman turns smoking lobster into side business

Smoking lobster is popular among Vinalhaven lobstermen, according to Robert Young, a lobsterman who started doing it 15 years ago and now has a business called Vinalhaven Smoked Lobster.,, Young and his family (his wife and daughters work in the business, too) steam the lobsters, pick out the meat, and then soak it in a molasses-honey-salt brine overnight before smoking it. >click to read<  09:52

Lobster industry split over whale protection plan called Maine’s ‘line in the sand’

Some fishermen at the South Portland meeting cheered the plan. One gave Keliher a standing ovation, saying the new proposal was much better for the lobster fleet than the task force plan rolled out in August that called for 50 percent fewer buoy lines. But fishermen in Ellsworth and Waldoboro, the site of the first two meetings this week, urged Keliher to resist federal pressure to make concessions that would hurt lobster fishermen when they pose no real threat to the whale.,, “Grow a backbone,” one lobstermen told Keliher. “Don’t give them anything now.” >click to read<  07:47

Meetings this week – Lobster industry braces for right whale changes amid turbulent times

“Right now, we’re all fishing hard, so it’s taking our mind off it some, but it feels like we’ve been waiting and worrying about what whales might do to us for so long now,” said Jake Thompson, a Vinalhaven lobsterman. “We can manage the rest of it, but whales? Everybody’s worried about whales.” Lobstermen will have a chance to weigh in on Maine’s plan to protect the endangered right whale from buoy line entanglements at Maine Department of Marine Resources meetings in Ellsworth, Waldoboro and South Portland this week.  >click to read<  06:51

“Our landings are way off ” Maine landed less than 50 million pounds by end of September

As of the end of September, Maine fishermen had landed less than 50 million pounds of lobster, according to Commissioner Pat Keliher of Maine Department of Marine Resources.  Keliher told the American Lobster Management Board on Monday that some of the year-to-date decline could be because lobsters molted late this year. The bulk of Maine’s lobster fleet catches new shell lobster, or lobsters whose new shells are just starting to firm up after shedding their old ones.  “Our landings are way off. Now that doesn’t mean the sky is falling. That means we certainly had a very big delay in the shed.” >click to read< 15:39

Nova Scotia lobsters still in sweet spot despite climate change

Canadian scientists have attempted to predict the impact of a warming ocean caused by climate change on the lucrative Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lobster fishery on the Scotian Shelf. In most areas, lobster habitat in the offshore is expected to remain suitable or improve over the next few decades, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers of Marine Science. Offshore is defined as beyond 19 kilometres from land. “Some of the climate projections suggest that it may not have a big impact over the next number of years on adult lobsters,” >click to read<  08:49

Warming waters, local differences in oceanography affect Gulf of Maine lobster population

Two new studies published by University of Maine scientists are putting a long-standing survey of the American lobster’s earliest life stages to its most rigorous test yet as an early warning system for trends in New England’s iconic fishery. The studies point to the role of a warming ocean and local differences in oceanography in the rise and fall of lobster populations along the coast from southern New England to Atlantic Canada. >click to read< 12:36

Fall lobster fishery now underway in Digby and rest of LFA 35 district

Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 35 opened at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 14 with the 93 full time and four part-time licence holders in the district heading to the fishing grounds in the upper Bay of Fundy. “When the season opens and the Digby fleet is coming through the gut,” looking from Delap’s Cove, “there’s a false sunset inside the Annapolis Basin,” said Colin Sproul, president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association. “There’s 60 or 70 boats coming out of there with four or five crabs’ lights each. You can see it right over the north mountains. It’s unbelievable. It’s like a sunset coming out of the basin at midnight.” >click to read< 18:40

China tariffs sinking overseas sales, Provincetown lobstermen not feeling the pinch

“It’s killed our price. It’s killed our markets,” said state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester.,,, Multiple Massachusetts businesses, especially those in Gloucester, have been adversely affected as they cannot compete with Canadian wholesale prices. But the lobstermen themselves are not feeling the pinch, and if anything are seeing their prices rise, Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association Executive Director Beth Casoni said. “The fishermen are happy,” Casoni said. “They’re making money.” >click to read< 09:29

PEIFA joins MFU in seeking mid-summer lobster-fishing ban

“After 20 years of lobster research from the government of Canada and our science affiliate, Homarus, we understand just how important the mid-summer (July 7 – Aug. 7) is for the hatching and development of lobster larvae into juvenile lobsters,” MFU executive director, Martin Mallet said. ”Any fishing activity during this time has an extremely negative effect on several key biological processes for lobster, including moulting, extrusion of new eggs and hatching of eggs that are in the final stages of development.” >click to read<  08:54

Fylde coast team nets Canadian success with revolutionary lobster pots

A Fylde coast firm has landed an international deal in its bid to revolutionise the world of lobster fishing. Bob Norburn and Steve Simpkin are re-thinking the traditional wood lobster pots used to catch the crustaceans, making the traps more environmentally friendly and safer for fishermen. And now they have secured a patent for the design and signed a contract with a firm in Canada. >click to read<  11:07

Legislators, lobstermen press case against ‘draconian’ whale rules

Two area legislators led a delegation Wednesday to the Maine Attorney General’s Office to press their case for a full representation for the state’s lobster industry against what they say are draconian and unjustified measures being proposed by the federal government to protect right whales. Independent Reps. Jeffrey Evangelos of Friendship and Bill Pluecker of Warren met Sept. 18 with Attorney General Aaron Frey and two staff attorneys who represent the Department of Marine Resources. >click to read<  11:25

New study addresses changes in lobster molt timing, Gulf of Maine temperature shifts

Variation in lobster molt timing has been increasing in recent years, and is related to changing ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Maine,,, Creating a time series for lobster molts and outlining the relationship of the initial intra-annual molt season to bottom water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine is important to the lobster industry because shifts in water temperature could result in changes in timing of the molt season, led by then UMaine graduate student Kevin Staples, who was pursuing a dual master’s degree in marine biology and marine policy. >click to read< 09:45

MLA Decision Disappoints, NOAA will continue to work with the Maine lobster industry

Although the Maine lobster industry formally withdrew its support of the near consensus agreement, members of the Maine caucus have stated a willingness to continue to work with the agency, the Take Reduction Team, the state of Maine, and their members to identify measures that address the risk that the Maine lobster fishery poses to right whales. We stand ready to continue to assist Maine in whatever way possible to achieve the necessary level of risk reduction to these critically endangered whales.,, >click to read< 13:27