Port Saunders fisherman worried about trickle-down effect of shrimp quota reduction
Eugene Caines wonders what the future holds for the lobster fishery with more pressure put on the stocks.
Involved in the industry for 45 years, Caines is worried about the trickle-down effect that he envisions with the reduction of the shrimp quota in the Port Saunders area where he’s made a living since he was 15-years-old.
The slash in shrimp quotes has led to at least seven fishermen in the area making the move to lobster with licence in hand.
They didn’t avail of it last year. Some of the shrimp fishermen affected by the reduction had licences in their back pocket while others purchased licences from lobster fishermen who retired this year.
Caines makes it clear he has no problem with a fellow fisherman having a licence because they are entitled to it, but he’s wondering how people will survive when there will be less lobster to go around and a shorter season because it won’t take as long to fill quotas if there is a hike in the number of people on the water.
He said if all of the seasoned lobster fishermen went after shrimp 10 years ago he figures it would be safe to say the shrimp stocks would have long been depleted long before now.
“One fishery slows down and everybody gets involved in another one and eventually there is more of the pie to share around and eventually there will be none,” Caines said.
A 65-foot shrimp boat tied up to the wharf for a few lobsters is a pretty sad picture of the fishery reality in this province in the eyes of a guy who has been on the water a day or two.