Tag Archives: lobster

Blue Float Energy’s offshore wind farm opposed by Port Macdonnell community due to fishing, tourism concerns

A small coastal community in regional South Australia is ramping up its opposition to a proposed offshore wind farm off the state’s south-east coast.  Renewable energy company Blue Float Energy has lodged plans for a 77-turbine wind farm off the coast of Port Macdonnell which would generate 1.1 gigawatts of clean energy. The proposal has already met resistance from Port Macdonnell residents where the local economy relies on commercial fishing and seaside tourism. Local fishers say the proposed area for the wind turbines, 8-20 kilometres offshore, is where many catch their lobster, with fears any exclusion zone placed around the turbines would make areas inaccessible. They are also concerned about any environmental impacts on lobster, despite no studies yet taking place. >click to read< 10:12

North Atlantic right whales causing ‘mess’ for P.E.I. lobster crews forced to move traps

Due to federal protocols, fishers had until Tuesday at 5 p.m. AT to move their gear out of waters deeper than 10 fathoms, about 18 metres, to protect the whales sighted late last week. The measure will last for 15 days, unless the whales are still in the area. Then the fishing area would be closed for at least another 15 days. “That’s not going to be good,” said Tony Clements, who fishes out of Northport. “We’re hoping for the best,” said David Henderson, who also moved 120 of his traps out of the closed zone. Out of 1,260 fishers, about 700 have already fully or partly converted to the whale-safe gear that will be mandatory by 2024. >click to read< 16:57

Stock assessments show Maritime lobster population strong, fishery sustainable

Adam Cook is a DFO biologist who tracks lobster populations along the Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy, waters that support nearly 3,000 commercial licence holders in 12 lobster fishing areas (LFAs). Cook and his colleagues recently posted stock assessments for 2022. He said all LFAs in the Maritimes are in a healthy zone for stock status. “Which suggests there’s still enough lobster to not raise any sort of conservation concerns. The commercial biomass is doing quite well,” Cook said. It’s the same story in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, although DFO’s stock assessments for five fishings area in that region have not been posted. >click to read< 10:17

Grill your lobster on the BBQ and your life will never be the same again!

Lobster season has finally arrived! Grilling is a very good alternative for cooking lobster, and it’s easier than you think to do. Whether live or precooked, whole or shelled, there are many recipes to make with grilled lobster. Simply dipped in flavored butter, stuffed in homemade pasta or rolled, lobster stands out with its tender flesh and unique taste. Take advantage of the short season to light the grill and cook magnificent Quebec lobsters with ease. This recipe only takes a few minutes to make, but the flavors will surprise you. Enjoy your BBQ! >click to read< 13:18

‘Aggravation’ expected when part of lobster fishing area closes

Chris Wall is among those being asked by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to remove all their gear from a portion of lobster fishing area 24 before it closes on Tuesday at 5 p.m. due to the confirmed sighting of a North Atlantic right whale. “It will affect the bottom line because I think you’re going to find more people in a smaller area trying to catch the same amount of lobsters,” Wall said. “So … it will affect everybody. It’s just going to cause some aggravation, for sure.” Wall isn’t aware of any right whale ever getting caught in lobster fishing gear on P.E.I., he said. >click to read< 08:56

Bigger Mi’kmaw lobster fishery possible because DFO redistributed unused licences

Mike Leonard, director of Indigenous fisheries management for DFO’s Maritimes region, said the federal department has bought back lobster licences over the years as commercial fishers voluntarily relinquished them, creating a bank of licences that Indigenous communities can access. That process has allowed Eskasoni to join two other First Nations in the moderate livelihood fishery during this spring’s season without affecting the health of the lobster stocks, he said. “In the first year, in 2021, we worked with Potlotek First Nation and then last year We’koqma’q First Nation joined as well and this year it’s become an Unama’ki approach, so across the Unama’ki traditional territory, which aligns with Cape Breton,” Leonard said. >click to read< 08:55

Maine may pay lobster fishers to test new gear as whale protection rules loom

Lawmakers in Maine are getting behind a drive to pay lobster fishers to comply with potential new fishing regulations. Lobster and crab fishermen face the prospect of tough new rules designed to protect vanishing North Atlantic right whales. The rules would require harvesters to use new kinds of gear and change when and where they can fish. Democratic Sen. Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic proposed a bill that would create a “lobster innovation fund” to pay lobster fishing license holders to test new fishing technologies. >click to read< 13:18

How warming waters around P.E.I. could affect snow crab and lobster

Research scientist Joël Chassé says as the atmosphere warms, the ocean waters around P.E.I. are also heating up. “Changes are happening. It’s not deniable anymore. And if the these changes don’t slow down, we will have to adapt to these changes.” Chassé said there are implications for some fish species, some positive and some negative. Fisheries and Oceans biologist Tobie Surette said that while lobster is a warm water coastal species, snow crab prefer deeper, colder waters. “Lobster has largely benefited from the warming climates, at least so far,” he said. Surette said they don’t know exactly why that is. (Snow Crab) And for now, they are doing well: “We’re at the third-highest biomass in the history of the survey right now.” But Surette knows that could change. He has been in contact with snow crab scientists from Alaska. Photos, >click to read< 18:51

‘Looks like the worst spring in 25 years’: lobster prices, catches down as seasons wraps up in southwestern N.S.

Landings have been low all spring in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) 33 and 34, which runs from Eastern Passage, Halifax County, to Burns Point Digby County, and includes all of Yarmouth and Shelburne counties. “Some people are down as much as 40 per cent. Some not as much. From the numbers I crunched it looks like on average we’re down 25 per cent over previous years, which sort of looks like the worst spring in 25 years,” says Dan Fleck, executive director of the Brazil Rock 33/34 Lobster Association. Cotter noted fishers in other recently opened LFAs in the Atlantic provinces are also experiencing low catches, bad weather and cold water temperatures. The shore price, which peaked at $13 a pound in the winter and early spring, plummeted to $8 in early May for LFA 33 and 34 fishers.  >click to read< 14:48

Regulators approve new lobster size limits in Maine to preserve young population

An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission board has approved new measures that could change the minimum and maximum catch sizes for lobster in certain parts of Maine. The fisheries commission said it will gradually implement changes to measurement sizes by fractions of an inch in certain parts of the Gulf of Maine — but only if it observes a 35% decline in the young lobster population through trawl and trap survey data. Recent assessments have shown a 23% decline in juvenile lobsters, said Pat Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. >click to read< 09:01

SEA-NL demands province order ‘serious,’ sweeping review of fish-price setting system

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) demands the provincial government order a “serious” and sweeping investigation into the broken fish price-setting system after last year’s token review failed to fix it. “This province’s three largest commercial fisheries — snow crab, northern shrimp, and lobster — are all in chaos this season, and two of them for the second year in a row,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “It’s obvious that last year’s lightning fast, three-month review of the price-setting system — a review that didn’t even bother to consult with inshore enterprise owners — was a token attempt at reform by a government unwilling and unprepared to act.” >click to read< 20:09

Lobster fishers set traps off Covehead, P.E.I., with Fiona still on their minds

In many ways, Saturday was like any other setting day for lobster fishers at Covehead Harbour, P.E.I. There was some good-natured teasing as the captain and deck hands heaved the 50-pound traps onto the boats over and over until there was just enough room to squeeze themselves in before starting the engines and heading off to sea. But, thanks to post-tropical storm Fiona last fall, it was also not like any other setting day. But how the storm affected the lobsters crawling along the ocean floor was something on the mind of Allan Coady, a member of the Covehead Harbour authority whose family has been fishing lobster for four generations. “We’re really anxious to get out there and get our first pick and see what they look like because after that storm nobody really knows,,, Photos, >click to read< 19:41

Lennox Island to fish 1,000 lobster traps off P.E.I.’s North Shore, with or without DFO signoff

The chief of Lennox Island First Nation says it will fish 1,000 traps in the spring lobster fishery off P.E.I.’s North Shore this year as part of its treaty-protected fishery — whether or not the Department of Fisheries and Oceans approves. The First Nation was planning to do the same last year, but ended up reaching an understanding with DFO to fish no more than the 300 traps the federal government could authorize in the spring, and later fish another 700 off the South Shore as part of the fall lobster fishery. Chief Darlene Bernard said she’s always been clear about her community’s intention to fish all 1,000 traps out of their own wharf on Lennox Island in the spring of 2023, and now they’ll be following through. >click to read< 11:38

Catch size a hot topic at Zone B meeting

A declining stock, looming federal rules to protect right whales and the court fights against them, how required gear and reporting changes will be paid for — Zone B lobstermen had a lot of industry news to talk about April 12 at Mount Desert Island High School. Discussion centered mainly on newly proposed minimum (and maximum) legal catch sizes to bolster the lobster stock. “I’ve heard at all council meetings, it’s not if you act, it’s when you act,” said Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. “It’s almost like no one is taking into account what we’re seeing,” Zone B Council Vice Chairman James Hanscom said. “As an industry, we’re handling a lot of lobsters.” Several lobstermen and council members at the meeting had attended a March ASMFC meeting in Ellsworth and were familiar with proposed management measures that would increase the minimum legal size for landed lobster. >click to read< 16:20

Monterey Bay Aquarium In Hot Water Over Alleged Defamatory Statements About Maine Lobster Industry

The aquarium’s Seafood Watch program assigns ratings to varieties of seafood based on environmental impact and sustainability. In September of 2022, Seafood Watch published a “red” rating for lobster caught in certain Canadian and U.S. fisheries. Seafood Watch’s current red, “avoid” rating instructs the public to “take a pass on these for now. They’re caught or farmed in ways that harm marine life or the environment.” The aquarium’s rating, allegedly based on “all scientific data,” claimed that lobster fishing practices in the stated region (specifically, pot, trap and gillnet fisheries) pose “significant risks of entanglement” to North Atlantic right whales and that the fisheries are putting the species “at risk of extinction” and therefore could not be considered “sustainable.” The Gulf of Maine is the center of the U.S. lobster industry.  >click to read< 09:12

Price outlook diverges for Canada’s top 2 seafoods – Snow crab prices plunged by 60 % in 2022

Canada’s lobster industry is poised to claw its way out of a down year, say analysts, while unsold snow crab stuck in cold storage remains an anchor dragging on the bottom line. Snow crab sales sank and prices plunged 60 per cent in 2022, thanks in part to U.S. consumers who stayed away from luxury seafood as they were battered by inflation. Lobster also took a hit last year, with prices down 30 per cent. The value of Canadian live lobster exports dropped as well, but volumes actually ticked up slightly. Kelly Zhuang of World Link Food Distributors in Nova Scotia says 800 tonnes of live lobster is flown to China from Halifax and Moncton per week. And more charters are expected.>click to read< 13:55

A year after record-breaking catch, value of Maine lobster landings are lowest in a decade

Maine lobstermen hauled in the least valuable lobster catch in a decade last year, when a decrease in price per pound and higher operational costs gave them less incentive to get out on the water. The $389 million haul, a 47% drop from 2021’s record-shattering catch,,, The size of the haul, 98 million pounds, was nearly identical to the 10-year low hit in 2020, when lobstermen also scaled back operations, then because of the closure of traditional markets as a result of the pandemic. Kristan Porter, a lobsterman from Cutler and president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, laid the blame for the drop in price per pound squarely on the economy. >click to read< 11:06

In class action lawsuit, Massachusetts lobstermen fight efforts to ‘red list’ their catch

Four Massachusetts lobstermen have filed a class action suit against the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Marine Stewardship Council, groups that urged distributors and grocery stores to avoid purchasing lobster because of the fishery’s impact on North Atlantic right whales. “We’ve always been like the punching bag for, like, the whale people. So I’m glad we’re finally striking back,” said plaintiff Jarrett Drake, a lobsterman who fishes out of New Bedford, “because it gives us a chance to try to at least defend ourselves.” “When [Montery Bay Aquarium] chooses to tag a product as one to be avoided (“red-list”) on Seafood Watch, it acts with near certainty that the companies it collaborates with will immediately discontinue that product,” the plaintiffs say in their complaint. >click to read< 08:35

Nova Scotia cracks down on lobster operators to protect industry’s ‘integrity’- Suspensions issued at 2 lobster pounds

In August 2018, Fisher Direct in Shag Harbour, N.S., was caught with lobster harvested under an Indigenous licence, which bars selling the catch. The pound, which has annual sales upwards of $20 million, had received a shipment of 1,400 kilograms of lobsters the day before federal fisheries officers descended on the facility. Inside the 31 crates, officers found 48 lobsters tagged for Indigenous food, social or ceremonial purposes that the department had previously microchipped. Meanwhile, a larger operation in southwestern Nova Scotia is also facing at least one licence suspension. In 2021, Atlantic ChiCan on Cape Sable Island was convicted for illegally shipping American lobsters to China, claiming they came from Canada. >click to read< 07:16

Looking to get into lobster fishing? You’ll need deep pockets

Mark Hackett is a broker who works with people looking to buy and sell fishing licences, boats and gear, such as traps.  He recently retired after 50 years of fishing for lobster out of Seacow Pond in western P.E.I. Hackett said these are the highest prices he’s ever seen — up to $1.8 million in some cases. “I never ever thought they’d be as high as they are now. It could start dropping, or it could go higher. I have no idea. Seems like there’s no downturn yet. It could drop right down, depending on the interest rate,” he said.  It was different when Hackett got into the fishery. >click to read< 07:56

How do you show a lobster some love? A Cape Breton researcher has plenty of ideas

Michelle Theriault, a marine biologist at Université Sainte-Anne, tells her students to heap loving care on lobsters destined to markets in Auckland and Athabasca – and everywhere in between. So, how do you dote on lobsters? I dropped in on one of Theriault’s Zoom classes for lobster exporters to get some answers to that question. And while she was narrow-casting her class from the University’s Marine Research Centre at Petit-de-Grat, Cape Breton, lobster fishers were headed to sea to dump their traps on the opening day of the winter season south of Halifax. >click to read< 16:22

Lobster season opens with lower catches, $7 shore price

Lobster landings are estimated to be down by as much as up to 40 per cent in some areas of Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 34 after the first week of the six-month commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia. “Catches are down in our area (LFA 33) 20 to 30 percent, and in LFA 34, I’m hearing they are down as low as 40 percent in some areas,” said Lockeport lobster buyer Mike Cotter, owner of Cotters Seafood Products. “Catches seem to be a little bit stronger the further you go east compared to catches in the west,” he said. The opening shore price was set at $7 a pound compared to a record-setting opening shore price last season of $11 a pound in LFAs 33 and 34 Photos, >click to read< 06:33

Tagging along on the secret life of the lobster – tagging them to find out where they go

To the average consumer, a lobster is just a meal sitting on a plate waiting to be eaten. Most have no idea that that meal has wandered hundreds of kilometres on the ocean floor before winding up on the menu. But researchers who have been tagging the crustaceans know the average lobster in the Bay of Fundy can crisscross that bay several times over the course of a year. A lobster caught on Grand Manan can easily make its way to Nova Scotia in a month or two. Many go hundreds of kilometers further.  “Some of them go south to George’s bank, some of them go over to Maine, and some of them go up the bay,” said Heather Koopman, Photos, Video, >click to read< 08:52

Lobster more than a Maine event

The headline said that Whole Foods would no longer be selling Maine lobster in its stores. My first reaction was to wonder what the lowly, although expensive crustacean had done to warrant such action from Whole Foods usually described as an upscale grocery chain that is owned by Amazon and as such is a part of the Jeff Bezos’ empire. To add insult to injury the California based Monterey Bay Aquarium through its environment focused seafood watch went and “red listed” Maine lobsters. I guess that means shipments of Maine lobsters will be stopped at the California border. I wonder if that includes the border with Mexico where just about anything gets through? Obviously, the Maine lobstering industry is up in arms over all this. >click to read< By Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr 12:56

Maine lobstermen warn Biden Administration is trying to put them out of business with harsh eco rules

Industry groups and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from Maine are sounding the alarm that a pending federal environmental regulation would crush the state’s vaunted lobster industry, The proponents of Maine’s nearly $1 billion lobster industry have argued that federal rules aimed at protecting the endangered right whale species from fishing equipment in federally managed waters are unfairly attacking blue-collar lobstermen who rely on the resource to make a living. They have warned that the regulation threatens the livelihood of thousands of Maine lobstermen and individuals employed in supporting industries. Video, Photos, >click to read< 14:00

IN PHOTOS: Dec. 5 opening to LFA 34 lobster season after weeklong weather delay

Following a weeklong delay, the LFA 34 commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia got underway on Dec. 5. Instead of opening on the last Monday of November, the season opened on the first Monday of December as forecasted winds last week pushed the opening back. Fishing crews were greeted on dumping day with light winds and calm seas The neighbouring LFA 33 district opened its season on Nov. 29. >click to read< and view 23 photos! 12:54

Finally! Lobster season kicks off in southwestern Nova Scotia

One the country’s most profitable lobster fishing areas opened for the season Monday after being held back by weather-related delays. The Coldwater Lobster Association says opening day, referred to as dumping day, for Nova Scotia’s lobster fishing area 34 officially began at 6 a.m. The area was slated to open for the season this past Monday, but it was postponed due to storm and wind conditions. >click to read< 07:33

Atlantic ChiCan investment in Nova Scotia lobster business tops $45M

Clark’s Harbour Seafood is set to open a new $15-million lobster processing facility this month as the China-focused exporter brings its investment on Cape Sable Island in southwest Nova Scotia to more than $45 million. The new plant, located in Clark’s Harbour, will be capable of processing up to four million pounds of cooked lobster a year allowing the company to make money from lobster not hardy enough for lengthy live shipments, says chief operating officer John Crandle Nickerson.  The He family, which operates seafood processing companies in China, owns the business. Owner Jim He is a Canadian citizen who splits his time between Vancouver and Nova Scotia. >click to read< 13:54

IN PHOTOS: Lobster boats head out from Eastern Passage as fishery opens

It was dumping day Tuesday for lobster fishers in Nova Scotia’s zone 33, which runs along the province’s south shore between Halifax and Shelburne. Vessels heavy with gear and their crews’ hopes for a lucrative season set out before daybreak to set their traps. Zone 34, the larger area with about 980 licences compared to 635 in zone 33, has had its opening delayed by bad weather. Photos, >click to read< 07:47

How Did Gulf of Maine Lobster Get Canceled?

No one confessed to knowing that, just a few weeks before, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, an agenda setting program for sustainability-minded seafood buyers and chefs, had shocked the industry by placing Gulf of Maine lobster on its “red list” of species to avoid. Not Dodie Neo, an Ohioan retiree who’d been in line for 45 minutes when I approached her. Knowing about the red listing, however, wouldn’t have stopped her from ordering. “The aquarium has a right to put lobster on whatever list it wants,” she told me. “And I have a right to eat it.” Way down the road, at Highroller Lobster Co., in Portland’s Old Port, the crowd skewed younger and hipper, but wait times were just as long and customers just as surprised to hear about lobster getting canceled. After some discussion, most in line seemed to agree with Rick Conlin, visiting from western Massachusetts, that it didn’t much matter. “I vote for the lobstermen,” he said. >click to read< 10:23