Fresh lobster catch. (Photo: Facebook/Professional Lobster Fishermen Association)
Lobster fishers fight for higher prices
Thursday, April 26, 2012, 15:30 (GMT + 9)
Hundreds of lobster fishers in southwestern Nova Scotia this week decided to hold their catch until prices get better. About 400 members of the Professional Lobster Fishermen's Association have voted unanimously to support the move.
“We have to do this today,” said James Mood, president of the association. “Not this fall but now.” He added that more than 300 boats could show up as part of the demonstration this Thursday, The Canadian Press reports.
The association’s members have given lobster buyers 48 hours to push the price up, The Coastguard reports. They decided that the fishers spend Wednesday and Thursday of this week hauling in their gear and that if they did not get CAD 5.50 (USD 5.55) per lb from their buyers for the rest of the season, they will keep their lobsters.
“Shut it down Thursday night,” said Mood. “This is our last chance…it is now or never.” And he added, “Unless we want to go bankrupt, we have to stay united and stick together…this is not about you and I but about we and us.”
Back in January, the newly formed association protested prices by refraining from selling its members’ catches.
Fishermen have been receiving between CAD 3.25 (USD 3.28) and about CAD 5 (USD 5.05) a lb. Mood said lobster fishers want CAD 5.50 (USD 5.55) a lb.
The association has garnered many supporters since it first began and is now close to boasting 900 members.
The lobster season in Yarmouth, Shelburne and Digby Counties ends on 31 May.
Meanwhile, fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador are setting up a co-op to buy their lobster and cut out the middleman. The fishers’ usual buyers argue they cannot afford the price that has been set for this season, so they are opting not to buy, CBC News reports.
By Natalia Real