Lobster fishermen fear for prices

Sherry Martell
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Northumberland lobster fishermen preparing to set traps Monday are closely monitoring record high lobster prices being paid to fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia.

Cold water temperatures and bad weather are being blamed for a shortage of lobster in the province driving the price of market-size lobsters to nearly $16 per pound.

Northumberland lobster fishermen preparing to set traps Monday are closely monitoring record high lobster prices being paid to fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia.

Cold water temperatures and bad weather are being blamed for a shortage of lobster in the province driving the price of market-size lobsters to nearly $16 per pound.

"We'll be getting more but we won't get that much," said Merrill Jamieson, a Wallace Fisherman.

Ronnie Heighton, chairman of the Northumberland Fisherman's Association said most fishermen in this area are not expecting to be paid record high prices because more than 3,400 fishermen will be setting traps in the Gulf region around the first of May.

"The last time we saw prices go this high they became depressed afterwards for a long time," said Heighton.

"It caused a down turn in the amount of lobster consumers were buying for three years.

"It's a good short term thing but usually comes back to haunt you somewhere down the road."

In the 1990s lobster fishermen experienced record high prices around $11 per pound, then they spiraled downward.

Wallace fisherman, Wally Allen, is hopeful fishermen in this area will receive more for their catches than last year, between $5.50 and $6.25 per pound , as they face another season of record high bait and fuel costs.

"If we could get 60 per cent of that record price we'd be satisfied," said Allen.

"At the end of the day we just want a fair price.

"We would like to see between $7 and $8 per pound for our markets."

Lobster fishing season opens in the Northumberland Strait on April 30.

Geographic location: Northumberland, Nova Scotia

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