LMR – Lobster industry deals with weather, holidays

The December lobster market was all about finding the odd relatively calm day when boats could get out to haul.  When they did, most did well, whether in Canada or New England.

But with the year-end holidays fast approaching, and, with them, consumers, both domestic and overseas, with healthy appetites for lobsters, the number of calm days was insufficient.  A mid-December jump in the boat price in Maine would suggest supplies were not adequate for demand, though at the same time the Canada shore price, as of Dec. 12, was holding steady at C$5/lb (US$4.29).

Nova Scotia’s largest lobster fishery, southwest from Clark’s Harbour to Digby, Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 34, and the smaller one southeast from Clark’s Harbour to Halifax (LFA 33), had a late start due to gale force winds and the resulting safety concerns.  Both had been scheduled to open on Nov. 24; LFA 33 opened on Nov. 28 and LFA 34 opened a day later.

Catches were reported to be good, but not the incredible numbers produced by New Brunswick’s three Bay of Fundy LFAs, 36, 37, and 38.  Those opened Nov. 11 with huge catches (see LMR, CFN December 2014).  Weather also continued to be a big issue, with harvesters getting out 5 to 7 of a possible 13 days at the season’s beginning.

Grand Manan (LFA 38) had started with a shore price of C$4.50/lb, but dropped a quarter to C$4.25/lb shortly thereafter due to the enormous landings …

Read the rest of this story and much, much more in the January issue of Commercial Fisheries News.  Buy this issue or Subscribe.   

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