2017-12-06

Lobster season opens across Southwest Nova Scotia

by Brittany Wentzell

  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Members of the Rant and Rave crew pose for a photo just before the opening of lobster season in LFA 33. From left: Sammy Whynot, Donny Long, Mike Swim, Corey Williams, and Hughey Whynot.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Crew members prepare their vessel for the beginning of lobster season.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Robin Fisher stands on his boat just before his crew comes aboard. Fisher, along with his brother Brian, have been fishing for decades, beginning with cod before the collapse off the coast of Newfoundland, and later with lobster off Port Mouton.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Fishermen make last minute adjustments before the season official opens.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>A small child watches, held by a parent, as lobster boats steam out of the harbour.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Cape Cod fishing boats cruise out of Port Mouton Harbour.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>A group of young teenage girls take photos of family members as they leave for the first day of the season.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTOS</p><p>Two teens wave to family members as they leave the harbour.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Port Mouton&#8217;s lobster fleet heads out for what fishermen hope will be the start of a profitable lobster season.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Community members, family, and friends, came to watch and wish fishermen well as they head off for the beginning of the season.</p>

It was chilly but calm as lobstermen across Southwest Nova Scotia headed out to set their traps on the first day of the season.

There was no sign of the high winds on November 28 that had delayed the opening the previous day, and that's a good thing - Dumping Day is one of the most hectic and possibly dangerous days in the season, as fishermen rush to set their pots and get a good start to the lucrative fishery.

"You worry about the weather, you worry if everything is going to go right, getting your gear in the right place," said Port Mouton lobsterman Brian Fisher.

Fisher says Dumping Day is stressful but after the first couple days of fishing, you can go at your own pace.

"Tomorrow we'll be hauling the biggest catches and the most money will be made the next day," he said.

Fisher has been fishing for 50 years, including lobster for over 20. He and his brother Robin started with cod off the coast of Saint Pierre and Miquelon before the cod collapse. So far, nothing has kept him from fishing a season - not even a severe neck injury he recovered from recently.

Neighbours, friends, and family gathered on the federal wharf in Port Mouton to wish fishermen well before they headed out to sea. 7 a.m. marked the opening of LFA 33, which encompasses most of the South Shore, from Lunenburg County down through most of Shelburne County.

According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the lobster fishery in the Maritimes accounts for 61 per cent of total Canadian landings of lobster and 34 per cent of the North American total.

From November to May, around 1500 vessels and licence holders from Southwest Nova Scotia participate in the fishery.

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