Crack a smile

Lob­ster fish­er­men happy with catches, prices and sizes

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

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.

EL­IZ­A­BETH PAT­TER­SON/CAPE BRE­TON POST

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.

EL­IZ­A­BETH PAT­TER­SON/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Roger Penny, son of Mar­lene Bro­gan, Bal­last Ground Fish­eries man­ager, shows one of the larger lob­sters that will be sold for some­one’s din­ner.

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