Grand Manan's lobster season hurt by hard winter

Weather has all but ended the lobster fishing season in Grand Manan, N.B.

'The guys out on deck are freezing'

Billy Grant sees rising prices because of the harsh winter. (CBC)

Weather has all but ended the lobster fishing season in Grand Manan, N.B.

The season started in November and recent weather has caused most fishermen to miss more than double the number of the days they would in typical year.

“There's a limit to how much wind you can stand when it's cold like it has been this winter. The guys out on deck are freezing,” said fisherman Laurence Cook.

“They can't work in it. So you have to clock out. We've missed a lot of time and of course when you miss time, your gear snarls up.”

Cook, reached on his boat off the coast of Grand Manan, said when they can get out, they have to untangle their gear first.

“You lose time more than money. It snarls and you fix them yourself, but it doesn't really cost money that way. Where it costs is in time,” Cook said.  

The harsh conditions have also driven prices up.

Billy Grant, owner of Billy's Seafood Owner, said lobster costs him about $0.50 more a pound than it would have last year. Prices rose $0.30 in the last week alone.

“As soon as I called Monday, they were gone up to eight and a quarter. So it's just a matter of last week going up that much. I can imagine what it will be in another two weeks, if the weather ends up being the same,” he said.

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