Price is the killer

Sherry Martell
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CAPE JOHN - The first few lobster landings along the North Shore were varied but the one thing all fishermen have in common is they are frustrated with the price.
Fishermen were paid $4.50 per pound for market lobsters on the weekend but many are concerned the price may even dip lower.
"The price is the killer," said Cape John fisherman Keith Heighton.
He said the first couple of hauls of the season were fair, slightly higher than last year but it's too early in the season to tell if it will be a good year.
"You'll hit some spots that are good but in others there's nothing," he said. "The bait isn't touched and there isn't even a crab inside."
Seasoned fisherman Robert Heighton said his first catches were slightly lower than last year and isn't expecting much improvement.
"I don't think there is going to be an abundance of them this year," he said.
Robert insists Northumberland Strait fishermen should have stopped harvesting the smaller canner lobsters, with a minimum body-shell size of 2 3/4-inches (70 millimetres), years ago to better preserve the stock and improve prices for the larger market lobsters, with a body-shell size of 3 3/16-inches (81 millimetres).
Lobster fishing has been a tradition for generations of his family and he has witnessed prices drop beyond 25-cents a pound but said they didn't have expenses like they do now.
He is anticipating prices may drop to about $3.75 per pound during the next few days as more lobster fishing seasons open around the province increasing the supply.
On Monday, Barrachois fisherman
Alan Elliott was disappointed after spending his first full day on the water hauling traps
that were dropped on Thursday. He had a few complications getting out to check his
traps on the weekend and his troubles
didn't end there, returning to port with a broken propeller.
"Half-a-pound on a two-day soak is not very good," Elliott said, as he prepared to haul his boat out of the harbour to repair the damaged part.
Fishermen in Lobster Fishing Area 26A, from Pugwash to Havres Bouche are permitted to use a maximum of 300 traps during the spring season.

smartell@trurodaily.com

Geographic location: North Shore, Lobster Fishing Area, Pugwash

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Recent comments

  • chief wiggam
    January 18, 2010 - 09:49

    hmmm maybe the lobster are staying away until they clear up and get rid of the glut of lobster they have in storage.

  • frog
    January 18, 2010 - 09:45

    WAH WAH WAH, poor lobster fisherman. Ya right, driving around in new F-250's and livin in 200000 dollar homes. Wonder what the real poor people are doing?