After a one-day delay due to weather, the lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia got underway on Nov. 28, with close to 1,700 fishing vessels in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) 33 and 34 heading out to sea to set their gear.
Dumping day went off without incident and was a window of opportunity for the fishers, who were facing gale warnings the following day when they went to check their gear.
A full compliment of Search and Rescue (SAR) resources were tasked for the first few days of the season, with patrols at sea by the Canadian Coast Guard and in the air by the Department of Defence. The Coast Guard Auxiliary also lent a hand as a SAR platform on the fishing grounds.
The shore price was expected to open in the $5.50 to $6 range. There were positive indications going into the season for a solid shore price. The LFA 35 fishery in the Upper Bay of Fundy had opened at $6.50, the Canadian dollar is trading well below par with the U.S. greenback, tariffs have been lifted on live lobster exports to Europe and the markets weren’t already flooded.
Lobster landings and values have hit record highs in recent years for LFAs 33 and 34. For the 2015-16 season the total landings combined from both LFAs weighed in at 39,200 tonnes with a landed value of $570 million. Preliminary data for 2016-17 indicates landings were just over 30,200 tonnes with a landed value of $490 million for both LFAs combined.