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Top­ics to in­clude at-sea ob­server pro­gram, whales, off­shore oil and gas ex­plo­ration, aqua­cul­ture, ocean waste and mar­ket con­di­tions

Tri-County Vanguard - - FRONT PAGE - KATHY JOHN­SON TRICOUNTY VAN­GUARD

Many lob­ster in­dus­try is­sues to be dis­cussed at fo­rum.

Five in­dus­try or­ga­ni­za­tions rep­re­sent­ing lob­ster fish­er­men in Lob­ster Fish­ing Ar­eas (LFA) 33, 34 and 35 are com­ing to­gether to host the third an­nual South West Lob­ster Fo­rum on Sept. 19 at the Grand Ho­tel in Yar­mouth.

The fo­rum “is de­signed for the fish­er­men to come and get a han­dle of what’s go­ing on in the in­dus­try,” says Bernie Barry, pres­i­dent of the Cold­wa­ter Lob­ster As­so­ci­a­tion, one of the groups or­ga­niz­ing this year’s event.

The Sco­tia Fundy In­shore Fish­er­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion, the Bay of Fundy In­shore Fish­er­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion, the Mar­itime Fish­er­men’s Union (MFU) Lo­cal 9 and the Brazil Rock 33/34 as­so­ci­a­tion are the other groups in­volved with the or­ga­ni­za­tion of the event.

Barry says there are “nu­mer­ous hot topic items” on the day’s agenda in­clud­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the at- sea ob­server pro­gram in the LFA 33, 34 and 35 lob­ster fish­eries this fall. The five as­so­ci­a­tions have cre­ated an in­dus­try-led pro­gram to ful­fill the re­quire­ment of an at-sea data col­lec­tion pro­gram in the lob­ster fish­ery with the for­ma­tion of the South West Lob­ster Sci­ence So­ci­ety. Barry says about 52 per­cent of fish­er­men in the three LFAs have signed up with the lob­ster sci­ence so­ci­ety. The re­main­ing fish­er­men will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the DFO-led at-sea ob­server pro­gram.

Whales, off­shore oil and gas ex­plo­ration, aqua­cul­ture, ocean waste and mar­ket con­di­tions are also up for dis­cus­sions dur­ing the fo­rum, with ex­pert pan­el­lists and pre­sen­ters, in­clud­ing key­note speaker John Sack­ton, founder of seafood.com, tak­ing part.

A work­shop and ques­tion and an­swer ses­sions are part of the fo­rum. “It gives fish­er­men a voice,” says Barry, not­ing the fo­rum was well-at­tended the last two years.

Reg­is­tra­tion for the fo­rum can be done on­site the day of the event start­ing at 8 a.m. Pro­gram­ming starts at 9 a.m. and runs un­til 3:30 p.m. with a lunch break. Lunch is pro­vided. To pre­reg­is­ter go to http://www.lob­ster­fo­rum.com/

TINA COMEAU

Lob­ster traps are brought ashore in May at the wharf in Pinkney’s Point, Yar­mouth County, at the end of the sea­son.

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