Fishermen fight for higher lobster prices in N.S.
Published Monday, April 30, 2012 10:30AM ADT
Hundreds of Nova Scotia fishermen congregated in Yarmouth Sunday to discuss the future of the Lobster Fishery.
"We need a committed price," says James Mood of the Professional Lobster Fisherman's Association. "Something that the association can live with. That means we would like to have a $5.50 price."
Many of the boats have been tied up since last week. Fishermen in Yarmouth are upset with low lobster prices from buyers. Some have been receiving between $3.25 and $5 a pound.
"We're not looking to get rich here. Five dollars is the survival price, not a 'what we need to get rich and be cool' price," says Jim Conrad, a lobster fisherman. "We cannot afford to do this long-term for less than $5. It doesn't work."
Not everyone has tied up their boats. According to the President of the lobster fishing association, at least one fisherman who set his traps had his tires slashed.
"That's not right," says Mood. "You shouldn't be doing that."
Many of the fishermen condemned the act, saying they have to stand united to send a message to their buyers.
"I feel we have to stand strong now. I'm willing to sacrifice a few hundred pounds tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after even to gain a price for next fall when we're catching thousands," says fisherman Mike Adams.
The fishing industry in the area is a driving force behind the local economy. With boats on shore, the fishermen say everyone will bear the brunt.
"This fishery is what sustains 90 per cent of us. The lobster fishery is a great fishery. It's going to take some work and a lot of people standing strong and respect to really gain it back," says Adams. "It's stressful but it's the bigger picture that really matters."
The lobster season is open in Yarmouth, Shelbourne and Digby Counties until the end of May. The fishermen say if they could get a committed price from buyers, they could be back in the water as early as Monday.
With files from CTV's Garreth MacDonald