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Fishermen set to dump traps as lucrative lobster season opens off N.S.

Boats remain tied to the wharf in Clark's Harbour, N.S., on Monday, November 26, 2018.
Boats remain tied to the wharf in Clark's Harbour, N.S., on Monday, November 26, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Canada’s largest and most lucrative lobster fisheries opens today in Nova Scotia.

The federal Fisheries Department says fishermen in Lobster Fishing Area 34, which includes roughly 970 boats that work the waters off the province’s western edge, were expected to start dumping traps at 6 a.m.

READ MORE: Start of Nova Scotia’s lobster fishing season postponed due to weather

Lobster Fishing Area 33, which extends from Halifax to the southwestern tip of the province, is set to open at 7 a.m.

Lobster was the province’s top seafood export in 2017 at $947 million.

The season was supposed to start Monday, but industry associations that represent about 6,000 fishermen called for a delay because the forecast was calling for rain, snow and strong winds throughout the week.

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READ MORE: Lobster fishing season delayed in Fundy North due to poor weather

Fisheries Department spokeswoman Debbie Buott-Matheson says if wind speeds are expected to exceed 46 kilometres per hour, opening is automatically delayed.

However, if the forecast does not offer a definitive picture, the final decision rests with the representatives from each fishery.