Fortune Bay lobster fishery off to good start
The Fortune Bay lobster fishery is in full swing and most harvesters are reporting catch rates just as good or “a bit better” than last year. However, the opening price announced this past week was $8.11 per pound, 20 per cent below the price paid the first week in 2017.
Fortune fisher Rachael Durnford is enthusiastic about this year’s fishery so far, saying, “It’s going great. The weather has been pretty good and our daily catch is a bit better or for sure on a par with last year.”
Grand Beach fisher Joan Follett, who has been fishing with her husband, Leonard, for at least twenty years, agrees with Rachael’s estimates regarding catch rates being up a little.
Last year was another good season for lobster returns in area 11 which takes in the whole of Fortune Bay from Point Crewe on the tip of the Burin Peninsula and going west as far as Francois. The total recorded catch in the Newfoundland region was in excess of six-and-ahalf million pounds with a total value over $45.5 million.
Fortune Bay, with only 11 per cent of lobster fishers in this province, accounts for approximately 40 per cent of the total provincial landings, valued at over $17 million.
Over the past seven years, no other single lobster fishing area has had that same level of recorded landings as Fortune Bay, according to DFO.
At last year’s prices for the nineweek lobster season, local fishers averaged approximately $7 per pound for the tasty crustaceans.
Grand Beach fishers arrive in port with their daily catch of lobster. This year’s season, which kicked off on April 21, will end the third week in June. The catch rate so far this season is on a par or a little better than last year, according to most...
Veteran Grand Beach fisher Joan Follett gets some help from a friend, Clarissa Collier, as she gets herring ready for baiting her lobster pots.