Tag Archives: lobster

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

Sea Grant awards $2 million to advance understanding of American lobster, support industry

Sea Grant announced new funding today for research aimed at understanding physical and chemical changes affecting American lobster (Homarus americanus) in the Gulf of Maine as well as a regional lobster extension program. Collectively, the research projects and regional extension program comprise the Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative. The seven research projects were chosen through a competitive processes that included review by subject matter experts. The research competition solicited proposals aimed at addressing one or more of the following priorities: >click to read< 10:21

If you think lobster prices don’t affect you, think again

A recent social media post made by a local marketing firm sharing a photo of a shirt being sold in town that says “Make Lobster $1.97 lb. Again” stirred some controversy. Although it was intended to be a “joke,” it was no joking matter for many of us in the lobster industry. We remember all too well in the early 1990′s when lobsters were indeed this cheap, and how we were hurting. No one in dairy country would joke about milk being $1 a gallon, as most people are well aware of the struggles farmers face,,, Farmers feed our country – and so do American commercial fishermen.,, Right now, more than ever, Maine lobstermen need the public’s support. Maine lobster is well worth every penny paid for it. by Shelley Wigglesworth >click to read< 16:29

$20M in fed funding will help lobster industry claw back lost market share

Food Export USA-Northeast said it will use more than $20 million in federal funding to help seafood suppliers tap into new markets, with a special focus on the lobster industry. The Philadelphia-based nonprofit association unveiled the plan and new funding through the U.S.D.A’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program in a press release Wednesday. It said the group will use a “significant portion” of the amount over the next few years to open new export markets for selected regional suppliers, educate importers and connect the industry to a broader range of international buyers. >click to read< 12:17

Politics & Other Mistakes: Lobster lovers versus blubber lovers

In Maine, hardly any restaurants serve whale. For good reasons. Whales are endangered, so any chef who offers the giant mammals as the fresh catch of the day is guaranteed to incite protests, vandalism and the sort of caustic online reaction usually reserved for racist remarks from the president. Also, I have it on good authority that whale meat is very gamey. At best, it’s an acquired taste. On the other hand, right whales weigh as much as 70 tons, which means just one could supply the average sushi bar with the makings of enough gunkan maki for every hipster in Maine.,,, But the real villain isn’t Herman Melville. According to prominent environmental groups, it’s the lobster. by Al Diamon  >Click to read< 12:16

Maine fishing practices at center of debate about endangered right whale

Hutchings thinks the looming regulations to save the right whale, an endangered species, are only part of the problem with the industry. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing the new rules. He would like to continue fishing lobster for a few more years to be able to say he spent 50 years as a fisherman, but said he feels more financial constraints every year. “I’d hate to be a young guy starting out,” Hutchings said. “ … It (NOAA) should be more worried about the fishermen becoming extinct.” >click to read< 11:49

About 70 frustrated fishermen tell feds at a hearing in Machias that Canada, not Maine, is mostly to blame.

About 70 fishermen came to the first fisheries service public meeting in Maine on the latest round of lobster rule changes being considered to protect the endangered whales. They expressed safety fears and their mounting frustration. The state’s $485 million-a-year lobster industry is facing a federal mandate to lower the number of buoy lines in the Gulf of Maine by 50 percent to protect right whales.,,, >click to read< 12:09

Rope free traps? Company studies ways for fishing nets and whales to coexist.

“It’s promising and many people are asking why we don’t use it right away — but it’s still in the scientific testing phase, with tests being done in the water and it has not yet been adapted for commercial fishing,” Cormier explained. In some trials, the buoy took up to 30 minutes to surface; in other cases it never surfaced. “There is still work to be done as far as the reliability of the equipment,” he said. “We don’t want to create another problem, that of ghost fishing.” >click to read< 09:49

Maine lobsterman John McInnes seems to have a knack for catching colorful crustaceans

Last month, he hauled in a rare cotton-candy-colored lobster in Casco Bay, near Portland. That would be remarkable story on its own, but McInnes said this is the second time he’s caught this particular lobster. “I caught it last October, and it was too small to keep, and then I caught it again,” McInnes said. “I caught it last October, and it was too small to keep, and then I caught it again,” McInnes said. “It was probably a mile and a half away from where I let it go. It didn’t go far.” >click to read< 08:42