The launch of the lobster fleet has become an annual, early morning tradition for the small village of Alma, New Brunswick.

Friday was the first day of lobster season and hundreds of people came out to be a part of fleet launch, an event that has become a fall ritual.

Less than 200 people call Alma, New Brunswick home, but the population more than doubles for the fleet launch.

“It's a real glimpse into our enviable way of life here,” says fleet launch organizer Jane Chrysostom.“We have a small Maritime, rural community that gathers. It's an industry that supports a number of families here in our village.”

Just before sailing time the wind picked up, causing some concern among the fleet captains.

“It’s questionable. We'll be alright, but it's going to make it wet and choppy and cold and rough for the boys out back,” says boat captain Martin Collins.

People from around the world showed up on the Alma wharf to sample some early morning pastries and fresh coffee.

“This is something that's a little bit different,” says tourist Amanda Patriquin. “You get to see the ships go out which is a really big community event, so we just wanted to be part of it. This is great.”

The show of support isn't lost on those who make their living on the water.

“I think it's nice, yes. It’s good to see everybody get around the fishermen. It’s a dangerous job so it's good to see people come out and watch us go,” says Collins.

Once the tide was high enough for the captains to pull away from the wharf, they were off to open water.

About 10 boats left Alma on Friday morning for the start of what is expected to be a good lobster season.

The boats will be setting their traps for most of Friday. They'll soak for 12 hours, and then crews will start hauling their catch.

Lobster prices are up, but fishermen won't know exactly what they'll get per pound until they return with their catch on Saturday.

The routine will follow until the season closes Dec. 31, when their boats will again be tied to the wharf waiting for next season.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.