Weather stretches out delay in opening lucrative southwestern N.S. lobster fishery

Fishing boats, loaded with traps, head from port in West Dover, N.S. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Opening day of the lucrative commercial lobster fishery along Nova Scotia’s southwestern coast has been further delayed as harvesters await calmer seas.

Lex Brukovskiy, president of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union Local 9, said today that he’s been informed rough waters means Thursday will be the earliest possible opening day in Lobster Fishing Area 34.

The adjacent area, LFA 33, was able to open on Monday due to calmer winds and seas.

Brukovskiy says the projected sea state for Wednesday is higher than permitted to open the season, though winds are expected to fall below the maximum allowed level of 48 kilometres per hour.

While the delay isn’t unusual, the union representative and fisherman says it poses challenges for the fleet, because many boats have already placed bait in their lobster traps.

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He says the longer the bait is exposed to open air, the less effective it is in the water.

Nova Scotia exported $2.3 billion in seafood products to 80 countries, with lobster being the highest value export, and southwestern Nova Scotia remains the most lucrative fishing zone.

It’s expected there will be about 1,600 boats and 6,400 crew members on the water for the start of lobster fishing season when all areas are open.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.

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