Crack a smile
Lobster fishermen happy with catches, prices and sizes
While carloads of hungry Cape Bretoners waited for the fishing boats to arrive at the Ballast Grounds on Saturday morning, personnel at the Ballast Ground Fisheries were busy getting the first of that day’s catch ready to sell.
According to Marlene Brogan, Ballast Ground Fisheries manager, 2017 is shaping up to be a good season for everyone’s favourite crustacean.
“The season is going well,” said Brogan. “Catches are up, the price is good.”
So far this season, lobster fishers have been receiving shore prices of around $8 per pound. That’s a considerable difference over prices last year when the season opened at $6.25 and in November when the Southwest Nova Scotia season opened with prices of $6 a pound but which rose to $8.50 to $9 by Christmas.
“To buy out of the retail is $9.50 a pound,” said Brogan.
The 2017 lobster season for Area 27 began Wednesday, May 17 at 5 a.m. Area 27 extends from Bay St. Lawrence to Gabarus harbour. The season was originally slated to start Monday, May 15, but was delayed by poor weather. According to Herb Nash, a Glace Bay fisherman, it just means a longer season at the other end.
“They will be adding the two days to the end,” he said. “The fishermen don’t mind the cancellation because of the forecast — they can’t set traps in that weather anyway.”
According to Brogan, the season so far has been good, with some of the year’s warmest weather opening the fishing season.
“They have been having good weather up until today (Saturday). It looks like a very good season, a very good start.”
And the lobsters have been a good size, she added.
“They’ve been average size, a few big ones coming in, like four or five pounds but just a few,” she said.
Once known as the cockroaches of the sea, these scavengers have come a long way from the days when they were only eaten by the poor, servants and prisoners because they were so common and cheap.
Marlene Brogan, manager at the Ballast Ground Fisheries in North Sydney, shows a still-frisky local lobster destined for someone’s plate. According to Brogan, the season so far has been good, with some of the year’s warmest weather opening the fishing season.
Roger Penny, son of Marlene Brogan, Ballast Ground Fisheries manager, shows one of the larger lobsters that will be sold for someone’s dinner.