Tag Archives: lobster

Zone B waits to present recommendation

Even though a deadline to present a state plan designed to minimize potential harm to right whales is fast approaching, members of the Zone B Lobster Management Council asked Department of Marine Resources officials to check numbers for the area 6-12 miles offshore before agreeing to a plan specific to that fishing zone. “The timeline is short,” said DMR Commissioner Pat Keliher,,, While most members of the Zone B council seemed in favor of the subcommittee’s recommendations, there was some hesitation.   “I support thisit would work for me,” said Howland. “I’d hate to railroad it if there are some concerns. This is better than it could be, but it doesn’t sound like it’s ideal for some guys.”,, “There’s a side of me that feels like this is getting stuffed down my throat,” said council member James Hanscom after asking if the decision could be tabled.  >click to read< 08:09

Despite an uncertain start to the fishery’s season, Maine lobster rolls on as the industry pivoted to new markets

Stonington lobster fisherman John Williams usually hauls his boat out in February for annual maintenance and paint in preparation for the start of the spring fishing season. “Then COVID started,”  The health emergency was worsening and the economy shutting down. That included one of the lobster industry’s biggest markets — restaurants. The large cruise ship and casino markets also slammed shut. International freight and shipping to China, emerging as a large consumer of lobster, had nearly stopped. “I got thinking about it and said, ‘This doesn’t look very good. We won’t have any market,’” Williams says. >click to read<  10:31

Trudeau government rejects lobster quota system for commercial inshore fleet

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan issued a statement Friday after meeting with commercial fishermen the day before. “As confirmed in that meeting, there is no plan to move to a quota system for the commercial lobster fishery and it is not being considered,” Jordan said. For decades, conservation in the billion-dollar commercial lobster fishery has been maintained by limiting the number of licence holders and traps. Stocks throughout Nova Scotia lobster fishing areas are healthy.  Three Mikmaw parliamentarians have proposed the creation of an optional Atlantic First Nations fisheries authority to administer an Indigenous fishery. >click to read< 19:13

Long a lifeblood, South Shore fishing industry faces numerous challenges

Over his more than five decades fishing commercially, Frank Mirarchi has watched the business evolve from thriving and straightforward to complicated and diminished, with skyrocketing costs, foreign competition and changing regulations choking an industry synonymous with the South Shore. In the late 1960s, when he purchased his first of three successive boats, fish was abundant enough to make a solid living off of. “By 1985 or so, fishing was pretty bad,” Mirachi said. With profits dropping, he switched from having two other crew members to one. In 1994, the federal government stared limiting the number of days fishermen can be on the water to combat overfishing. Before, some spent 200 or more days fishing each year. Over the years, it was gradually reduced to 30. Mirarchi said this “wasn’t particularly successful”,,, >click to read< 08:54

Membertou First Nation buys two offshore lobster licences at $25 million

Membertou First Nation has reached an agreement with Clearwater Seafoods for a $25-million purchase of two offshore lobster licences. “We’re very excited here in Membertou First Nation. It’s a historic investment,” said Chief Terry Paul of the announcement made this week. “…It significantly increases our presence in the offshore commercial lobster fishing.” Clearwater Seafoods has a deal with 14 Mi’kmaq communities in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland regarding Arctic surf clams, announced last year. >click to read< 08:47

Sipekne’katik First Nation issuing own lobster licences

After a blessing of its fleet on Thursday morning, the Sipekne’katik First Nation will issue lobster fishing licences at the Saulnierville wharf. On Tuesday, the Potlotek First Nation in Cape Breton sent its plan to begin a rights-based moderate livelihood lobster fishery on Oct. 1 to federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan. They weren’t asking her permission, but rather for her to consult them on what they intend to do. “We’re tired of waiting and we’re tired of being poor,” Potlotek chief Wilbert Marshall said on Wednesday. >click to read< 08:26

Mi’kmaq planning their own moderate livelihood fishery outside DFO seasons

Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is downplaying plans by Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq to create their own moderate livelihood fishery, characterizing the move as part of ongoing negotiations to implement a 21-year-old Supreme Court ruling. “Right now we are working with the First Nations communities to determine what a moderate livelihood fishery looks like. We’re continuing to have those meetings with them,”,, The Trudeau government has managed to get moderate livelihood deals with three bands; one in Quebec and two in New Brunswick. >click to read< 10:55

As the press ignores the real issues, Lobster fisher’s pro-Trump speech sets off political spat

A Maine lobster fisher spoke in favor of President Donald Trump’s trade policies during the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, earning a rebuke from the state’s Democratic party,,, Swan Island lobster harvester Jason Joyce said he was skeptical of Trump in 2016 and didn’t support him then, but has since come around because of the president’s trade deals.,, Trumps trade hostilities with China have taken a valuable market away from the U.S. lobster industry, Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra said. But the industry faces numerous challenges, including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the seafood business, the trade fight with China, a stubborn bait shortage and new protections designed to reduce risk to endangered whales. >click to read< 05:16

Jason Joyce Full speech RNC Day 2, Republican National Convention – an excellent testimonial, Jason. Thank you for being a truth teller. >Click to watch<

Lobster may lead to Coronavirus treatment

A Maine-based researcher and professor is optimistic a treatment for the global pandemic could be hiding in plain sight and Maine waters: in lobsters’ circulatory fluid, analogous to blood. That fluid, called hemolymph, is seen by most as trash — a throwaway byproduct that’s nothing more than production waste in lobster processing after they’re caught by fishermen. Lobsters’ hemolymph holds a protein that’s worked as an antiviral on herpes and shingles and may fight the coronavirus, Robert Bayer said. >click to read< 12:21

Consultation lacking on decision to reactivate licenses for Indigenous communities

The reactivation of dormant lobster fishing licences by the federal government has prompted a terse statement from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) and the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU). The two organizations say they were left out of consultation over the reactivation of 10 lobster licences by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in the Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 25, located on the western end of the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and New Brunswick.,,, The statement said fishermen were “frustrated” by the lack of consultation prior to the decision and called for the federal government to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen’s organizations. >click to read< 09:54

For New England lobstermen, resilience in ‘a season of uncertainty’

This is a tough season so far for Ms. Rosen, but over her 15 years of lobstering off Vinalhaven, Maine, she’s always been a better fall fisherman, she says. This season is like no other – the lobsters are slow to appear, but more than that, the coronavirus has caused trade to plummet and tourists to stay home. Rosen is selling her lobster for $3.35 per pound – a dollar less than last year – and she’s torn between wanting to catch more and worrying about flooding the market by catching too much. To supplement, she picked up a job with UPS in the afternoons after fishing.  Ms. Rosen often fishes for her own bait rather than buying it.,, On Cape Cod, Glen Sveningson has been getting about $5.30 a pound wholesale, but it’s starting to fall. “Last year was one of the best years I’ve seen,” he says. >click to read< 13:17

New Brunswick: Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association says financial support program may not be enough

On Wednesday the federal government announced a $469-million program to help fish harvesters deal with financial burdens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association worries it won’t be enough. Melanie Sonnenberg told Information Morning Saint John the program leaves out new fishermen and that’s concerning. “They’re our future, and we have to have some recognition, some special programming or something that we can plug them into to make sure they’re looked after so when we come out of this we’ll have a fishing industry that is every bit as robust as it was.” The fish harvesters benefit covers 75 per cent of income losses over 25 per cent for the 2020 tax year, compared to 2018 or 2019. The maximum benefit is $10,164. >click to read< 11:22

Who’s Buying Lobster?!! Maine Lobster Industry Pivots Focus

The Maine lobster industry has shifted it focus from foodservice to retail as restaurant demand has fallen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While 70 percent of Maine lobsters are usually sold through foodservice channels, this year that figure is expected to be under pressure amid widespread restaurant closures and restrictions on dining out. “Typically we spend a lot of our marketing resources educating chefs about Maine lobster,” said Marianne LaCroix, executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative which represents Maine lobster harvesters, dealers, and processors. “We looked at what was available to us, and saw it was going to have to be about consumers eating lobster at home this year.” >click to read< 12:13

Lobstering at 15: Brentwood girl spends summer working on family’s boat

When most of her friends are still asleep during summer vacation, 15 year old Ella Byrne is getting up before the sun. Her dad, Ward, wakes her about 3 a.m., and the two head to Portsmouth, from their home in Brentwood. They eat breakfast, then take a dinghy to their big boat, the F/V Sugar Daddy. They motor past the Portsmouth Fisherman’s Cooperative Pier, and out to the Atlantic Ocean while it’s still dark. When the sun begins to rise, it’s time to haul lobster traps. When asked how long she’s been going, she points she points to a photo on her phone when she was about 8 on the boat with her dad. With sales of lobster to restaurants down, and fish auctions happening less often, the Byrnes are like many other local fishermen who have pivoted to a direct to consumer model of sales. photo’s, >click to read< 23:19

Malpeque harbour users vote in favour of new wharf at Cabot Shores

On Wednesday, July 8, Malpeque harbour users gathered in Summerside to hear proposed plans for a new wharf. Around 50 people attended the presentation given by Harbourside Consulting and MRSB, which was hosted by the Malpeque Harbour Authority before its annual general meeting. Most there were commercial fishers; some were members of the public. The navigational channel into Malpeque harbour, also called Malpeque Cove, is shallow and has needed near-constant dredging for decades.  The shallow channel is dangerous for boats and their crews who risk running aground, swamping full of water or capsizing.  >click to read< 08:09

Maine: 1 in 3 Lobstermen got small Paycheck Protection Program loans

About $14.9 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans of less than $150,000 have been handed out to 1,358 Maine lobstermen, according to an analysis of newly released U.S. Small Business Administration data. That puts lobstermen ahead of full-service restaurants, real estate offices, beauty salons and home builders, which rounded out the top five Maine industries receiving small PPP loans. Maine’s $1.4 billion-a-year lobster industry – including those who buy, sell and process lobster as well as catch it – have received 1,495 forgivable PPP loans worth at least $24.2 million, so far. Fishermen got the lion’s share of the industry’s total PPP money, but only because they outnumber dealers, retailers and processors. Some dealers got loans of up to $1 million. >click to read< 07:15

U.S. Crustacean Market to hit $10.2 billion by 2026

The U.S. is among the biggest markets for seafood & seafood-based products and it is ever-growing due to its inherent health benefits. The growth of the seafood demand is attributed to high disposable incomes and an exponential growth of omnichannel partners. E-commerce platforms and digital distribution channels have significantly escalated the seafood market in both formats including business-to-business as well as business-to-customer operations. Many retail giants such as Walmart and Target etc. engaged in the industry has been increasing the presence on these channels to reach out to more customers and deliver high-quality & fresh products. This trend is redefining the supply chain distribution of consumer products in the region. As a result of these marketing efforts, more people are buying or preferring seafood, which will support the growth of crustaceans. >click to read< 14:09

N.S. Premier Stephen McNeil: China not ‘reasonable’ requiring lobster shippers to assume Coronavirus liability

“I don’t believe that the requirement to accept liability on live seafood going into that marketplace is a reasonable one,” McNeil told reporters in Halifax Thursday. China is the second largest market for Canadian lobster, with exports of live lobster alone in 2019 valued at $457 million, most of it supplied by inshore fishermen from Nova Scotia. That demand has upended traditional economics in the fishery. Even as landings soared in recent years, the increased demand from China helped keep prices up. Earlier this year, it came crashing down when China shut down because of the Coronavirus pandemic. >click to read< 09:50

In Lobster Town U.S.A., When the industry suffers, the pain ripples.

Blaine Olsen, a lifelong lobsterman, was navigating his 30-foot boat off the coast of Stonington, Maine, when his sternman, who’s also his wife, yelled above the diesel engine’s din about the pittance the local cooperative was paying harvesters. He shot Ginny a doleful stare for a good five seconds. “Holy sh-t, man,” he said. “It costs us $600 a day to go out.” The dock price, $2.25 a pound for soft-shell lobsters, was half what it was a year ago, making it virtually impossible to earn a profit. The novel coronavirus has barely touched the public health of this corner of rural down east Maine, with Hancock County reporting just 16 cases and one death as of June 30. Its economic health is another matter,,, >click to read< 10:50

When Lobster Got Fancy

Once called the poor man’s protein, it was only fit for the poor, servants, prisoners and being soldiers’ staples to everyone’s idea of a delicacy, “The Cockroach of The Sea”- some 150 years ago, did become one of the most remarkable re-branding in product history.,, If today’s lobster wears a top hat, 80 years ago he wore overalls and was probably picking up garbage. The lobster is a self made creature and quite the social climber. So how did they climb the social ladder? >click to read< By Joanne Blais 12:48

Chinese tabloid blasts Canada over lobster dispute

Communist Party media in China rebuked and threatened Nova Scotia lobster shippers this week for expressing concerns over new roadblocks to getting products into China. The party tabloid Global Times says recent border measures are about food safety after a COVID-19 outbreak was linked to a Beijing food market, “rather than an excuse to target any specific country.” “It’s Canada’s choice to export to China, and Canada needs to abide by Chinese regulations, which may be adjusted when necessary in accordance with the COVID-19 situation,” Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation, >click to read< 09:28

Global Affairs Canada takes no stance on whether lobster exporters should sign Chinese liability form

Chinese customers want Canadian shippers to sign a declaration their lobster is free of COVID-19, and assume liability if it’s detected in China. The stipulation has alarmed shippers like Osborne Burke of Victoria Co-op Fisheries, a Cape Breton company that ships frozen lobster to China. “Absolutely under no condition would we sign anything,” he said. Burke, who is also president of the Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance, does not recommend members sign anything either.,, The province declined comment on the matter Monday. >click to read< 07:52

Some P.E.I. fishermen caught flak for catching lobsters on Sundays in 1989

There was only so much lobster to go around, a fact fishermen in North Rustico, P.E.I. were well aware of. That’s part of what upset them when some of their peers started fishing for that lobster on Sundays, a habit other fishermen didn’t want to see take hold. “Over the last couple of years, more and more fishermen are ignoring traditions and are heading out on the Sabbath,” Clarence Gauthier, a local fisherman, said the change in behaviour had been gradual. >video, click to read< 08:57

Canadian lobster to China hits another roadblock, demand a signed declaration live lobster is Coronavirus free

Canadian businesses that export lobster to China have run into another border roadblock. On Friday, Chinese importers started demanding a signed declaration that Canadian live and processed lobster is free of COVID-19 before it can enter China. “It’s a bold thing to ask and we as Canadian exporters should push back,” says Stewart Lamont of Tangier Lobster in Nova Scotia. His company flies lobster to mainland China. Lamont has refused to sign the declaration, which makes Canadian companies liable in the Chinese court system if there is a problem. >click to read< 18:52

Lower prices, reduced markets ‘doesn’t make for good math’ – P.E.I. fishermen ask for four day season extension

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) has asked for a four-day extension to the spring lobster season. The PEIFA made the request to the federal fisheries minister and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on June 16 to help offset the delayed start to the season. The season started two weeks late because of coronavirus and concerns over the safety of crews on boats, and questions over the demand and markets for lobster. According to the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Board, about 200 fishermen have been dealing with quotas for most of the season, and prices are down substantially this year — most fishermen have been getting between $3.50 and $4.50 a pound for their catch.  >click to read< 21:57

“Things could’ve been way worse”: Spring lobster season nears end amid coronavirus, “Things are stabilizing”

The Maritime Fishermen’s Union predicted a gloomy forecast for the spring season with the pandemic’s safety concerns, crushed markets and reduced processing capacity. But fishermen are taking it “day-by-day,” says the union’s executive director. “Things could’ve been way worse,” says Martin Mallet. “At least our fishermen have had a chance to go out and catch part of their catch.” Restaurants reopening is also helping market demand increase. >click to read< 08:49

Belize Fishermen hold meeting over proposed lobster prices

As we reported last week, the fishermen are dissatisfied that there is a significant decrease in the price of lobster. This weekend fishermen from northern Belize met in Caye Caulker,,, “We know that the prices are very low and I could guarantee that the Government of Belize is not aware of this. This is just an advantage that the cooperatives are taking from all fishermen to bring down the prices but I think it’s time that the fishermen come united and send a message not only to the management of the cooperative or to the government. I want them to understand that we are not the stepson we are sons of this nation we are the second industry that every year we give the government more than $20 million to the government and I think it’s time that the government puts it’s hand inside this cooperative because there are many dirty things happening inside the cooperative >cick to read< 13:12

Can we really break the China habit?

China is a hard habit to break.Even after its early mishandling of the coronavirus disrupted the country’s ability to make and buy the world’s products, further exposing the faults of its authoritarian system and leading it to ratchet up its propaganda war, China’s economic power makes it the last best hope for avoiding a protracted global downturn.“When this all started, we were thinking, Where else can we go?” said Fedele Camarda, a third-generation lobster fisherman in western Australia, which sends most of its catch to China. “Then the rest of the world was also compromised by the coronavirus, and China is the one getting back on its feet.”“Although they’re just one market,” he added, “they’re one very big market.” >click to read< 10:56

Inspiring Women: Virginia Oliver – The Lobster Lady!

Arguably the world’s oldest licensed lobster fisherman – 99 year old Virginia Oliver is one of a kind. This short film gives viewers a chance to meet this inspiring woman and ride along as she and her 74 year-old son Max haul their lobster traps in Spruce Head, Maine. Virginia’s positive approach to life as well as her infectious laugh will capture viewers heart’s and inspire them in their own lives. We ran this story, >This is very cool! Happy Birthday! Celebrate the Lobster Lady’s 100th birthday on TV< on May 23rd. The link has disapeared, but we found the Vimeo! >Click to watch<, and once again, Virginia, Happy Birthday!

I’m a Maine lobsterman. I leave a lot of my life up to chance. But I don’t know if I can handle this level of uncertainty.

Herman Coombs is a lobster fisherman in Orrs Island, Maine. He’s been fishing since elementary school, he says, and went full-time after high school. In all those years, he can think of two times when the price of lobster has been any lower—in 2001, in the weeks after 9/11, and during the Great Recession. With restaurants in Portland and Lewiston—Maine’s largest cities—still closed for dine-in seating, and the state’s crucial tourism industry sure to take a massive hit this summer, he’s worried. “Right now, we’re only hauling about once every two weeks. That’s because of the weather. We’re getting a lot of wind in the afternoons, which ends up being pretty gusty, and isn’t a lot of fun. And the prices.,, >click to read< 11:19