Lobster fishermen have been on strike for their voices to be heard. (Photo: Facebook/1688 Professional Lobster Fishermen Association)
Lobster fishers hang on as they ask for higher prices
Monday, April 30, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
About 500 people showed up for a meeting on a Yarmouth wharf, in southwestern Nova Scotia, this weekend to discuss the lobster prices of the season. The rally’s attendants were mostly of lobster fishermen – and they were livid.
The event was organized by the 1688 Professional Lobster Fishermen Association (PLFA), which emerged in January so lobster fishers could together fight to get a fair price for their catch.
The commercial lobster fishery off southwestern Nova Scotia ends on 31 May.
Stephen Goreham, a member of the board, explained that the current price of CAD 5 (USD 5.10) a lb of lobster does not constitute enough to let fishers survive.
"They just feel that this is the last, desperate move," Goreham said of the crowd. "Of the people that were there, which had to be more than our membership, they all voted to stay tied up, unanimously. I've never seen the fishermen do that in my life," CBC News reports.
President James Mood said buyers should pay attention to the message sent by Sunday's protest.
"I think that the fisherman know that they have a voice, they also know that they can't go for the prices that they've been paid this year. Just imagine, they started at CAD 3.25 (USD 3.31)."
The PLFA is demanding that fishers get CAD 5.50 (USD 5.6) a lb for the rest of the season and warned that their boats will remain tied up until that happens.
"We just see that our community is disappearing, the young people are going west," said Goreham. "We feel that they're not getting a fair price for the product."
He hopes that the protest will inspire non-union members to join the struggle and the union and offer these lobster fishers support.
Mood said the fishers that the government, lobster buyers and other lobster fishing districts are watching this region and what these fishers are doing. But regardless, fishers cannot be concerned with what other fishing areas are or are not doing and must be concerned with what is happening around them instead, The Vanguard reports.
- Lobster fishers fight for higher prices
By Natalia Real