Tag Archives: lobster

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

Golden and Graves introduce bi-partisan legislation to make disaster relief funds available to fishermen

In a bipartisan effort, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Rep. Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) on Thursday introduced legislation to make additional disaster relief available to thousands of fishermen whose businesses are harmed by a pandemic. The legislation would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act to allow fisheries disasters to be declared due to pandemic, such as Coronavirus. My bipartisan bill with Congressman Graves would make pandemics an allowable reason to declare a fisheries disaster, opening up a process to direct federal relief funds to affected fishing communities. >click to read< 11:55

After months of lobster industry losses, things may finally be taking a turn for the better

“We’ve come through the pandemic and it’s been challenging for everyone, to say the least,” says Geoff Irvine, Executive Director of The Lobster Council of Canada. This week, lobster season opened for some parts of the Maritimes including the North shore of New Brunswick, some parts of PEI, Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Strait and pars of Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Strait.  “We’ve seen the lobster market adjust quite dramatically from very strong demand and high, high prices, record prices in January pre-pandemic, and we’ve adjusted to a new reality and we’re in recovery mode now,” Irvine says. >click to read< 16:01

Good Karma! Catching two coloured lobsters, one blue and one calico, comes days after child saved from drowning

A fisherman for 42 years, Gary Robichaud was out fishing lobster with his three sons, Alex, Zachary and Sylvain, when they found a blue lobster in a trap. After celebrating that catch, taking pictures and posing with the bright blue lobster they were even more surprised when 15 minutes later another rare coloured crustacean was found trapped inside another trap. The market sized lobster was calico coloured, another rare catch for the fisherman. Asked if this had ever happened before, Robichaud said no. “It’s never happened to me,” he said of catching two rare coloured lobsters on the same day. But Robichaud said he will take it all as signs of the good luck he’s been experiencing including how things fell into place during the rescue of a 10-year-old boy May 29. >click to read< 20:00

Cape Breton lobster fishermen struggle – ‘This is the first year I had to tell my fishermen I couldn’t move their product,’

There is a lack of demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the price for lobster has dropped to $4.25 a pound. In some areas, buyers are restricting the amount they purchase from fishermen. Marlene Brogan, the manager of Ballast Grounds Fisheries, a lobster buyer in North Sydney, said they’ve had to tell fishermen they can’t buy their catch some days. “We’ve been in business 21 years and this is the first year I had to tell my fishermen I couldn’t move their product,” said Brogan. She said there have been many days the fishermen at their wharf haven’t gone out to fish. >click to read< 14:19

‘Nothing is normal’: LFA 34 & 33 lobster fishery draws to a close in southwest N.S.

The commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia and along the south shore, draws to a close May 31. Crews are bringing gear back ashore at the conclusion of a season that saw a promising start with catches and the price paid to fishermen, but then hit rough waters due to the coronavirus pandemic. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of people that are already hauled up. Some five days early or more,” said Yarmouth County fishing captain Shawn Muise, following a day of fishing on his vessel, Force Awakens, on May 29. “Nothing is normal.” “The season was going so well at the start. Finally the prices were reflecting the market. But when COVID started, and as the price started to drop, you could see it in the fishermen’s faces,” Lots of photos,  >click to read< 07:29

Family business, way of life ‘under attack’ for Cundy’s Harbor wharf

Gary and Alison Hawkes finalized their purchase of Hawkes’ Lobster from Gary’s parents on May 1. His mother’s aunt and uncle bought the business in the 1950s, and his grandparents bought it from them. Then his parents, Sue and Gary, took over and his father built the wharf in 1990. Early Wednesday afternoon, Alison and “young” Gary stood on the eerily quiet dock as two of their teenagers walked by carrying fishing rods over their shoulders. They sped off in a dinghy to see what they could catch. Both also hold student lobstering licenses, Gary said. But on Wednesday, the boats remained tied up under the late spring sun—all but Gary’s father’s boat. His dad headed out that morning to haul traps, knowing he might not earn back the cost of his gas and bait. Video, >click to read< 09:59

Process local lobster first, say Val Comeau fishermen after devastating processing plant fire

Steve Ferguson said he wonders what will happen next as they wait to see if the buyer they deal with at Les Pêcheries de Chez-Nous factory will be able to help them out. While a large part of the plant was destroyed in a fire, a portion of the processing plant not damaged is set to resume processing lobster this week with about a third of the staff. The company said 331 people were working at the plant at the time of the fire, and 100 lobster fishermen sold their catch to the plant. Local fishermen want to make sure their catch will take priority over lobster being brought in from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  “At the end of the day, if they can’t produce our lobster from here, why are they bringing so much from other provinces. >click to read< 15:15

Buyers setting catch limits, processors struggle with labour shortages, ‘Lots of lobster, but we can’t bring them in’

“Pretty good catches so far. But almost everybody’s on a quota right now,” said Gerard Whalen, a long-time fisherman in Naufrage in eastern P.E.I. “We’re seeing lots of lobster, but we can’t bring them in.” “We just can’t get rid of them,” added Lucas Lesperance, who docks a few boats down from Whalen. Lesperance said he’s pulled up about 1,000 pounds of lobster some days, but his buyer has only been accepting 600-700 pounds.  According to P.E.I.’s Seafood Processors Association, that is the big problem across the industry. Executive director Jerry Gavin said Island processing plants — which rely heavily on temporary foreign workers — are about 200 workers short this season. >click to read< 17:23

State of Maine: Lobstermen are feeling the pinch

Maine lobstermen are in a world of hurt, caught in a two-pronged assault on their livelihood. The pincer claw is the pandemic, causing their market to collapse. The crusher claw? That would be the latest lawsuit over whale rules.,, Even the elders in the fishing community are rattled. They are usually the ones who face fluctuations in the market with zen-like calm. It’s been down before, they say, and it will come back. Every year is not going to be a record-breaker. This time they’re worried. Younger fishermen who have gotten accustomed to record catches every year have taken on significant debt (bigger boats, newer trucks) and are freaking out. Jill Goldthwait >click to read< 11:09

Coronavirus: Crew screening, enhanced cleaning part of P.E.I. lobster season launch Friday

The season was delayed two weeks by the COVID-19 pandemic. That delay was partly in the hopes that depressed markets would recover somewhat, and partly to give the industry time to establish new safety protocols to prevent an outbreak within the industry. Those protocols include Daily health questions for captains and crew before they board a fishing vessel. Minimum number of crew on board. No sharing of equipment, such as gloves and clothing,(more),,, The new rules were developed by the P.E.I. Workers Compensation Board in consultation with the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, and reviewed by the chief public health officer. >click to read< 08:32

‘Level of anxiety really high’: Lobster season to start Friday for some Maritimers>click to read<

Hybridization – New test identifies lobster hybrids

American lobsters have occasionally escaped or been released into European waters after being imported for the seafood market. Experts have long feared they could threaten European lobsters by introducing disease or establishing as an invasive species. Hybridization – when a “pure” species is threatened at a genetic level via interbreeding with a different but related species, had been less of a concern because lab studies suggested European and American lobsters were reluctant to mate. However, when an American lobster female was found bearing eggs in a fjord in Sweden, University of Exeter researchers tested the offspring and found they were “clearly distinct” from both European and American lobsters. >click to read< 11:42

Cape Breton: Lobster fishermen protest delay to the season

About 75 lobster fishermen took to the Canso Causeway Monday, protesting the delay of the lobster season. The fishermen – who motorists going by said weren’t interfering with traffic — held signs on the Cape Breton side, while a few were beyond the bridge behind the guardrail. “The season hasn’t opened, that’s the main reason they are upset,” said Jordan MacDougall, president Inverness South Fisherman’s Association, adding May 1 is their usual season opening. “The Gulf area and P.E.I. have been delayed until May 15. Everyone’s upset about that.” >click to read< 20:12

Some P.E.I. fishermen feeling left out of lobster market

This year due to considerations around the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic, P.E.I. lobster fishers will be setting traps on May 15 instead. Beach Point fisher Brayden Handrahan says he was ready to fish April 30 as usual, and he says he’s not alone. “That’s when everybody gets the most lobster, in the first two weeks, and that’s why everybody wants to go,” he said. Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said her department chose May 15 after fishers in licensed fishing areas (LFAs) 24 and 26a voted on the date. Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, who co-ordinated the vote, says it was close, but the majority asked for a delay. By the time the vote was underway, many felt it was too late for the season to start on time, said MacPherson. As the decision date approached, Jordan added a “new wrinkle” by including processors into her considerations, he said. >click to read< 09:50

Coronavirus: ‘Like a funeral’: Fisherman laments tanking prices in once-lucrative lobster fishery

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has set opening dates for the lobster fishery from May 1 to May 6, depending on the area of the province where harvesters live. According DFO, there are 2249 lobster license holders but not all are active. Preston Grandy, 40, has been catching lobsters since he was just a boy. On Saturday, he’ll leave his wharf in Garnish on the Burin Peninsula and set his pots, a task he’d normally take on with pure enthusiasm. “Usually setting day for me for lobsters, it’s just like Christmas morning for a kid. But this year it’s almost like a funeral. I’ve got no desire to even go down to the wharf,” >click to read< 08:58

Coronavirus: Some P.E.I. fishermen dismayed by delay to season, others relieved with May 15 start date

At a time when Ottawa is spending billions to help people make ends meet, some Island fishermen are taking a different tack. They want permission to fend for themselves and go fishing. “We just want to try to make enough money to get by. That’s all we want to do,” said Tignish fisherman Kenneth LeClair.,, Other fishermen, though, are relieved by the two-week delay. “The majority of people are relatively pleased,” said Gerard Holland, who fishes at North Lake. “Some is not pleased at all and in fairness to them, they need to be heard too, but the biggest concern most of us had was to make sure that everyone had a buyer, so the later we went, the better the chances of the market improving.” >click to read< 08:27

Gulf of St. Lawrence Spring lobster season begins at 6 a.m. on May 15

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says this year’s spring lobster fishery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence will open May 15 and close on June 30. The decision released today delays the traditional April 30 start of the season by about two weeks. The new start date covers fishing areas 23, 24 and 26A and B along the northern coasts of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as well as a section of the Northumberland Strait. The season will begin at 6 a.m. on May 15 as long as weather conditions allow. >click to read< 07:34

UPDATED: Spring lobster season starts May 15. 2 different start dates being recommended for 2 P.E.I. lobster fishing areas

The PEIFA released results Tuesday from its member vote held over the weekend. Members were asked whether they preferred the season start on May 6 or May 13. Voting began on Friday and wrapped up at noon on Monday. A total of 841 votes were tallied out of the eligible 954 spring lobster licence holders. The PEIFA reported results in each of the two fishing areas, LFA 24 and LFA 26A. For LFA 24, 60.9 per cent voted in favour of the May 6 start. In LFA 26A, 51.2 per cent of voting members chose the May 13 start date. >click to read< 07:29

Spring lobster season starts May – After weeks of uncertainty, Ottawa has set a date. Spring lobster fishing season starts May 15 and ends June 30.
The announcement on fishing dates in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, was issued Wednesday in Moncton by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.   >click to read< 20:16