After one-third of the lobster season in southwestern Nova Scotia, the quality of the resource does not seem optimal, report industry people.
“There is no less lobster than in previous years, but the quality seems bad,” says Reginald LeBlanc, owner of Wedgeport Lobster, in Wedgeport, Nova Scotia.
Fishermen have reported that the shells of recently caught lobsters appear to contain less flesh.
Neil LeBlanc, a former provincial minister who owns N. LeBlanc Entreprises in Wedgeport, sees this as a continuation of a trend. “The quality of the lobster is often not so good,” he says.
20 or 30 years ago, he says, “everyone was fishing near the land and the lobster shells were always hard and filled with meat. It’s not the same anymore. ”
For Mr. LeBlanc, the situation is getting a little bigger every year. The fact that fishermen are increasingly inclined to move away from the land, where the waters are warmer, would be, according to him, one of the causes.
When the fishermen throw their trap further away from the coasts, “the volume [of catches] increases, but the quality is often worse”.
If the consequences are not too great for the product intended for processing, the situation is different for the export markets. “We want quality lobster that can survive a 2-day trip to China, a day to Europe where other markets are opening up. ”
Mr. LeBlanc predicts that the quality of the catch that will be fished in the spring will be better because the lobster will have had time to feed, but the catch will be less numerous since a large amount was made at the start of the season, in autumn.
Theories, but few certainties
“Some fishermen say the weather is warmer,” says Reginald LeBlanc of Wedgeport Lobster. “Personally, I do not know, I think it’s a combination of a little bit of everything. ”
“Everyone has an opinion, nobody is certain,” says Neil LeBlanc. “It would take more research,” says the former politician, who misunderstands that so little is done, he said, to know the specific causes of this decline in the quality of lobster caught in the Atlantic.
“The better quality you have, the better it will be for the industry,” says Neil LeBlanc.
The lobster season in Zones 33 and 34 in southwestern Nova Scotia continues until the end of May.