Tag Archives: lobster

Lobster fishers want to see a crack down on poaching in southwestern Nova Scotia

The issue was raised during a meeting in Yarmouth among industry members and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). They’re worried more moderate livelihood fishing will dominate St. Mary’s Bay. First Nations fishers maintain their Treaty rights to fish. DFO has not authorized that fishery, but they do allow some Food, Social and Ceremonial licenses. Colin Sproul with the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance says catches were low in the bay during the fall season. “Everybody in southwestern Nova Scotia knows why that is. I think it’s incumbent on the government to act now, before lobster fishing in St. Mary’s Bay is a thing of the past,” said Sproul. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 05:53

Catches up as LFA 33/34 season ends

Catches are up as lobster season comes to a close. Fishers will haul up their traps Friday for the last time until late November. Dan Fleck is the executive director of the Brazil Rock 33/34 Lobster Association. He says prices have fallen to over eight dollars a pound. “The past several weeks, catch rates have increased. It’s believed this is due to the water warming up. We believe the lobsters were there in the fall, but they weren’t crawling because the water was so cold,” said Fleck. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 08:01

Lobsters prices fall. Crates of crustaceans pile up on Cape Breton

There are so many lobsters ready for processing or live sale in some eastern Cape Breton harbours that they’re being stored temporarily in large flotillas of plastic crates. Some seafood buyers have stopped buying altogether and others are implementing daily limits on the amount of lobster they will buy. Fishermen worry the oversupply is driving down the price and while some in the industry say it could be a sign of longer term problems, one buyer says the backlog is evidence that lobster conservation efforts are working, and it will ease off in a couple of weeks. “Our processing facility is maximized daily, seven days a week and our holding facility is pretty darn full as of Saturday night,” said Osborne Burke, general manager of Victoria Co-operative Fisheries in New Haven, northern Cape Breton. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 11:41

‘To honor the lobstermen,’ Bailey Island artist paints their portraits

“I love Maine. Lobstering’s part of Maine. Lobstering’s threatened. And I just want to honor the lobstermen.” So said Bailey Island artist Dennis Wilkins, who often walks the quarter mile from his home on Abner Point to Glen’s Lobsters, the place where he buys his “critters.” It was there he conceived of the project that he hopes will raise awareness of the ongoing challenges facing the lobster industry. “They’re under multiple stresses — climate change, regulations … It’s like the world’s coming down on them,” Wilkins said. “I want them to see that they’re recognized … they’re appreciated, so much so that I’m going to spend time to paint their portraits and give them to them.” Wilkins, a retired neurologist and self-trained fine artist, started working on the project in June 2023. Portraits, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 15:46

Nova Scotia’s Billion-Dollar Lobster Wars

At the River Café, the Michelin-recommended restaurant on the Brooklyn waterfront where the term “free-range chicken” was coined, the lobster is served butter-poached next to a pool of lemon-grape sauce, to brighten its tender brininess. The chef, Brad Steelman, insists on lobster from the cold waters of Nova Scotia, because this insures a hard shell and robust meat. Not so long ago, good lobster could be found closer to the city. Historically, there were strong harvests as far south as New Jersey. Private-equity firms and seafood conglomerates have swallowed many of North America’s fisheries. But, in Nova Scotia, most lobstermen are independent. But many inshore fishermen have also resisted a recent entrant to the power struggle: the Mi’kmaq, the most populous group of Indigenous people in Atlantic Canada. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:58

Lennox Island First Nation hoping for more access to lobster fishery

The Lennox Island First Nation wharf is busy these days, in the band’s third year of treaty fishing for lobster, but Chief Darlene Bernard would like to see it busier.  Though there has been a commercial fishery based in the community off P.E.I’s North Shore for decades, Bernard said the newly exercised right to harvest lobster under treaties signed long ago means about 10 young families are better able to pay their bills.  With a waiting list of about the same number of people who would like to take part in the fishery, Bernard wants to see more commercial licences made available for Lennox Island through a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) purchase program.  “We need to have an equitable share of the bounty of the resources in this province moving forward,” she said. Video, photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 13:20

State backs lobstermen in urging regulators to reevaluate changes to minimum size

The rules, which are set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025, will increase the minimum size from 3 1/4 inches to 3 5/16 inches, on the gauges that lobstermen use to measure lobsters and determine whether they are allowed to harvest them. A second increase would take effect two years later, bringing the minimum to 3 3/8 inches. The rules also affect the vents in traps that allow undersized lobsters to escape. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says it is making the changes to preserve the long-term future of the lobster population in the Gulf of Maine, which federal data show has sharply dropped. Lobstermen also question the accuracy of the federal data – saying that it was corrected over a small and abnormal time frame that doesn’t indicate the reality of population trends.  more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 06:23

Southside fishers hope first haul bodes well for season

Monday’s first haul of the lobster season for south side fishers brought calm conditions on the water, with preliminary prices ranging anywhere from $7.50 to $8 a pound for canners and $8.25 to $9 for markets. Harvesters in Lobster Fishing Area 26A set their traps on Saturday after the season was delayed by a day. Setting day for the north side, LFA 24, was initially on Monday but was delayed by at least two days. DFO had a call on Tuesday but the weather was still uncertain. PEI Fishermen’s Association president Bobby Jenkins, who sails out of Annandale, said catches on Monday seemed to be on par with 2023 or maybe a little better, depending on the harbour. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 11:02

Bankruptcy filing by former CEO latest twist in Lobster 207 legal saga

Former Lobster 207 CEO Warren Pettegrow filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of Florida, one day before he was court-ordered to forfeit money, properties, business interests and guns to Lobster 207 toward a $1 million judgment awarded after arbitration in June 2020. U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker had ordered the forfeiture after nearly five years of court proceedings in federal court in Bangor. The judgment arose from a civil lawsuit Lobster 207 filed in December 2019 alleging Pettegrow, as CEO of Lobster 207, embezzled nearly $2 million over roughly two years in a price-fixing arrangement.  The Maine Lobstering Union Local 207, part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, opened the Lobster 207 co-op in 2017 and hired Pettegrow as CEO, an arrangement that was part of the sale to Lobster 207 of the wholesale side of Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 15:41

Warming Waters Heat Summer’s Feast Well Before It Gets to the Kitchen

An ever-warming planet is playing havoc with the intricately interconnected web of marine life. Just as climate has long stressed human populations and driven migration, marine populations are stressed and in search of survivable climates too. In New England, scientists and lobstermen alike are studying and living the impacts. Tim Alley has been lobstering in Maine’s coastal waters for 40 years. “There’s been a trend in recent years related to temperatures,” he says. Alley is steeped in the traditions of his home state’s biggest industry and recently dusted off a short film from 1972 in which he starred at age 12, “Alone in My Lobster Boat,” filmed in South Bristol and New Harbor, Maine. Like most lobstermen, he would call himself an environmentalist: they live on the water, they live from the water, they thrive on the water. But they reject the notion that a species – the right whale – is failing because of them. Over 40 years, he says, he has seen exactly one right whale. Photos, Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 14:50

P.E.I.’s snow crab season wrapping up as right whale protection begins 

An early start to the season is paying off for many P.E.I. snow crab fishers, with good catches and better prices than last year. An added bonus: for the second straight year, most will have caught their quota before endangered North Atlantic right whales move into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, prompting protective measures to prevent entanglement in fishing gear. Alden Gaudet said fishers are much better prepared this year than they were two years ago in case of closures due to right whales.   “This year, we’ve lobbied to be able to immediately remove our buoys from these traps and use this ropeless, on-demand [system, without having to wait 48 hours to reset back in these areas. So it will make things a lot easier,” he said. Photos, Video, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 07:42

Massachusetts Record for Largest Lobster Caught

The price for fresh New England lobster changes frequently depending on the time of year, market conditions and suppliers. The price fluctuates so often that many seafood dealers and restaurants don’t even include it on their menus or websites. On April 1, 2024, Boston’s James Hook & Co. was advertising fresh lobster claw and tail meat at $85 per pound, fresh knuckle lobster meat at $90 per pound, and fresh lobster salad at $85 per pound. The Massachusetts Lobsterman’s Association claims the record for a lobster caught off the Massachusetts coast was “Big George,” caught off Cape Cod in 1974. The Association says George weighed 37.4 pounds with a total length of 2.1 feet. more, >>click to read<< 10:06

P.E.I. harbours face challenges with approach of lobster season

The spring lobster season on Prince Edward Island is just a few weeks away, but some harbours are facing challenges as Island fishermen prepare to head out and set their traps. At Malpeque Harbour, windy weather has slowed down efforts to clear the winding channel that they will take on setting day. “They’ve had a real hard time this year due to weather,” said fisherman Timothy Wall, who has been fishing for 30 years, following the occupation of his father and grandfather. “They’ve been on the site for two weeks already, and they can’t even get to the outside of the harbour, just the weather hasn’t been fit. Moving the harbour deeper into Malpeque Bay, where there is less moving sand, could be an option, said Wall, but there are no certain answers. Video, photos, more, >>click to read<< 11:12

Lobster harvesters in Atlantic Canada to vote on increasing minimum legal size this year

At stake is maintaining access to the United States market. “It will be an individual vote. That’s a big decision that every single enterprise and owner has to look at from their own business,” said Heather Mulock, executive director of the Coldwater Lobster Association, which represents fishermen in lobster fishing area 34 (LFA 34). In late May or June, the 979 licence holders in the area will be asked to vote on whether to match increases in allowable U.S. catch measurements that will come into effect Jan. 1, 2025, and again in 2027. Live Canadian lobster that fall under the new limits would not be allowed into the U.S. That includes bonded shipments of lobster under the new minimum in the U.S., according to an information package sent to fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia. That could block trucking of “undersized” Canadian lobster across the border for flights to Asia from airports in Boston or New York. more, >>click to read<< 08: 57

Large southern rock lobsters from Beachport fetch up to $500 each as SA fisher celebrates catch

In the past, giant lobsters sold for less than their smaller counterparts because their taste was considered inferior — but that has changed. South Australian fisher Craig “Slim” Reilly recently caught rock lobsters that fetched up to $500 each, including one that weighed close to five kilograms. The three-decade industry veteran said they did not come much bigger than that. “One of the biggest [I’ve caught] for sure,” Mr Reilly said. The cray, caught in January in shallow water near Beachport, weighed 4.85kg. Mr Reilly guessed it was at least 30 years old. He said bigger lobsters used to sell for less per kilogram than their smaller counterparts, but that was no longer the case. Video, more, >>click to read<< 07:51

Maine commercial fisheries jump $25M in value, with strong boat price for lobster

Commercial fishermen in Maine had a strong year in 2023. The value of the state’s fisheries increased by more than $25 million over 2022, for a total of $611.3 million at the dock, according to preliminary data released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The department attributed much of the increase to a strong boat price for lobster, Maine’s most valuable species last year. The price paid to fishermen went from $3.97 per pound in 2022 to $4.95 per pound in 2023, netting harvesters an additional $72 million compared to the previous year, for a total value in 2023 of $464.4 million. “The price Maine lobstermen received last year is a reflection of the continued strong demand for this iconic seafood,” said Patrick Keliher, the department’s commissioner. more, >>click to read<< 10:19

Commercial fisheries landings increased more than $25 million in value in 2023

Preliminary numbers for commercial seafood landings in 2023 released today show a strong year for the industry, with commercial fishermen earning $611,277,692 — an increase of $25 million — for 204,684,775 pounds of seafood brought in to state docks. Despite a warming Gulf of Maine, intense storms and the damage to working waterfronts and lower lobster landings, “the Maine seafood industry continues to be a powerful economic engine for our state,” said Governor Janet Mills. Statewide, 93,734,116 pounds of lobsters landed on docks for a $461,371,720 value, an increase of about $72 million. The value represents what is paid at the docks to fishermen, dollars that flow throughout local communities and the state’s overall economy. Stonington is the top port for commercial seafood value this year, bringing in $47.37 million of value, and the second port, behind Portland, for pounds — 13.98 million. more, >>click to read<< 12:54

High lobster prices could be a sign of things to come for P.E.I.’s spring fishery

The cost of the crustaceans in most stores is higher than normal for this time of year, running anywhere from $20 to $26 per pound. Most of the lobster caught last year and stored on the Island has already been sold, and fewer boats take part in the winter fishing season in nearby New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the Lobster Fishers of P.E.I. Marketing Board, said there are only 2,500 boats on the water in Canada right now, compared to 7,000-plus during the spring season. “The boat prices are anywhere from $16.50 to $17.25 — [that’s] what we’re hearing.”  more, >>click to read<< 06:50

Data show fewer baby lobsters but fishermen say ‘eggers’ abound

Lobstermen and the agency that oversees them, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), sparred a little over state data on lobster populations that lobstermen said does not reflect what they see when fishing, when the Zone B Lobster Council met Feb. 21 at the Mount Desert Island High School library. The DMR estimates the number of baby lobsters, called “year of young,” through trawl and ventless trap surveys to project future adult populations and manage the fishery — and to adhere to interstate fishery rules from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), an interstate board managing fisheries for 15 states, including Maine. 3 Photos, more, >>click to read<< 12:45

A treasured industry and an endangered species compete for survival

On a cold morning in January, Chris Welch is already out preparing his boat. This time of year, his days begin before sunrise. It’s a ritual he’s grown accustomed to — at just 35 years old, he’s already spent decades working in the lobster business. “I started lobstering when I was six.” Welch said. Being a lobsterman in Maine is less of a job and more of a lifestyle. It’s a family business for many, including Welch, whose learned the ropes from his grandfather.   But recently, the focus is less on what lobstermen’s ropes are pulling up and more on what may be running into them. Video,  more, >>click to read<< 10:23

On-Demand Lobster and Jonah Crab Gear Testing off Massachusetts and Rhode Island Gets Underway

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center Gear Research Team is collaborating with up to 30 commercial lobster vessels to test on-demand (also called ropeless) fishing gear in state and federal waters that are otherwise closed to lobster and Jonah crab fishing with static vertical lines.  Participating vessels will fish trap trawls without any surface gear marks in the “potential on-demand testing areas” shown here. The fixed gear involved in this research will not be visible at the surface since it has no surface buoys. links, more, >>click to read<< 12:01

Wide-ranging meeting covers gauge changes, ropeless gear, damage repair – DMR to lobstermen: We need your data

The Maine Department of Marine Fisheries held its January 29 Lobster Zone C Council meeting in Stonington Town Hall, drawing more than four dozen fishermen, marine scientists and local politicians eager to weigh in on a number of policy initiatives. Among the topics: the timeline for changes to gauge and vent sizes that were triggered due to declining juvenile lobster abundance; challenges to Canadian management practices; and plans to spend $17 million allocated last year by Congress to develop better science around lobstering’s impact on North Atlantic right whale mortality. Keliher kicked off the meeting with a discussion of impending gauge-size changes under Addendum XXVII, a management strategy adopt by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to increase protection of the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank spawning stock. more, >>click to read<< 07:57

Importer of Belizean Lobster Faces $5 Million Fine and Probation for Labeling Fraud

An importer of Belize’s lobster is facing harsh consequences after a federal judge in Key West, Florida, ordered that Elite Sky International, Inc. pay five million dollars in fines, plus be placed on a 5-year probation.  The judgment follows findings that the company was exporting inaccurately labeled spiny lobster and shark fins from Florida to China. According to court documents, the illegal activities took place over a span of approximately one year, from November 2018 to October 2019. more, >>click to read<< 12:06

Change to minimum U.S. lobster size ‘a big jump,’ says P.E.I. marketing board

Pending increases in the legal size of lobster that can be sold in the U.S. are something to watch, says the chair of the Lobster Fishers of P.E.I. Marketing Board. But Charlie McGeoghegan says it likely won’t be as much of a problem as some other groups in the Maritimes fear. Studies of the state of the lobster stock on the Eastern Seaboard have triggered an automatic increase in the size of lobster that can be harvested for the U.S. market. The studies found a decline in the number of young lobsters, and the change is designed to give them more time to mature and reproduce. Currently, U.S. fishermen must throw back any lobster that has a carapace (the hard shell extending from the eyes to the end of the tail) measuring under 82 millimetres. In January 2025, that will increase to 84 millimetres, and it will go up another two millimetres in 2027. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 13:31

Rogue wave hits Canadian lobster industry as U.S. moves to increase minimum legal size

An unexpected decision to increase the minimum legal size of lobster in the United States has appeared like a rogue wave on the Canadian industry, threatening to curtail live exports south of the border. With total Canadian live shipments worth $545 million in 2022, the potential trade implications was the first item on the agenda in the annual U.S.-Canada lobster town meeting being held in Moncton, N.B., this week. “Effectively we will not be able to ship a certain size lobster there that we always have. So their action will create an action that we have to respond to in Canada,” said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. The U.S. move to increase the minimum legal size of a lobster carapace, or outer shell, from 82 millimetres to 84 millimetres in January 2025 — and to 86 millimetres in 2027 — would create a mismatch in the closely integrated two-way trading between the countries. photos, more, >>click to read<< 10:22

Lobster Market Outlook, Industry Size, Growth Factors, Investment Opportunity 2024-2032

IMARC Group, a leading market research company, has recently released a report titled “Lobster Market Report by Species (American Lobster, Spiny Lobster, Rock Lobster, European Lobster), Weight (0.5 – 0.75 lbs, 0.76 – 3.0 lbs, Over 3 lbs), Product Type (Whole Lobster, Lobster Tail, Lobster Meat, Lobster Claw), Distribution Channel (Food Service, Retail), and Region 2024-2032.”The study provides a detailed analysis of the industry, including the global lobster market share, size, trends, and growth forecasts. The report also includes competitor and regional analysis and highlights the latest advancements in the market. How Big is the Lobster Market? more, >>click to read<< 10:36

Lobster demand remains high during the holidays

Back in the 1960’s, Dartmouth resident Bruce Nickerson was a lobster fisherman. “We got 50 cents a pound,” says Nickerson, who adds, when the price jumped to 90 cents per pound, it was big news back in the day. “I thought that was great.” Those prices are ancient history. “Anything under two pounds (are) $13.25 a pound,” says Samantha Strachan, who works at The Lobster Dive store in Eastern Passage, N.S. “Two pounds and up are $15.25 a pound. Anything under two pounds (are) $13.25 a pound,” says Samantha Strachan, who works at The Lobster Dive store in Eastern Passage, N.S. “Two pounds and up are $15.25 a pound.” Video, more, >>click to read<< 12:32

Lobster prices rise as catches fall: ‘They’re all fighting for that product’

The price of lobster is up compared to last year, says the Lobster Fishers of P.E.I. Marketing Board. Live lobster is selling for as much as $11.50 a pound, said Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the board, up from $6.50 to $7.50 last year.  The jump in price is partly because catches are down now for fishers in New England, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, he said. Catches in New England specifically are down about 16 per cent over the five-year average, he said. photos, more, >>click to read<< 06:48

Some N.S. lobster fishers report serious decline in catches

Some lobster fishers are reporting a major drop in catches this year compared to last, and they’re calling on the provincial government to drastically increase illegal fishing fines to keep the lobster population stable. Heather Mulock, executive director of Coldwater Lobster Association (opens in a new tab), said this season is one of the worst for catches in the region since the 1990s, and she attributes some of that to illegal fishing. “We saw millions of pounds of lobster that came out illegally,” she said. “Unauthorized fishing in the summer and fall affected us.” “We’re in the process of a regulatory review that will include updates to the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act(opens in a new tab),” he said. “Provincial fines for offences under the Act are part of this review.” more, >>click to read<< 14:21

Drop in catches when the area 34 lobster fishery opens

The lobster fishing season in Area 34 started a week later than planned due to bad weather. Although the sea has calmed down, the catches are not there according to fishermen from Pubnico and Methegan. Fishing is down, it’s not as good as other years, notes Graham Deon, captain of the boat Samanta Dawn, who has been fishing for 43 years. We expect 25 to 50% fewer catches, all districts are down. Aldric d’Entremont is captain of the lobster boat Miss Marley. Same observation from Aldric D’Entremont who also got into lobster fishing more than 40 years ago. more, >>click to read<< 11:28