Olscamp hopes N.B. lobster fishermen will accept offer
Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp is hoping the province's offer of compensation to lobster fishermen will ease the tension brought on by the purchase of cheap lobsters from Maine.
Last week, hundreds of fishermen set up blockades at three processing plants in the southeastern part of the province in response to those plants processing American lobster, which was going for about $2 a pound.
After a meeting involving about 300 New Brunswick fishermen Sunday, they say they'll continue the protest until they get a guarantee of at least $4 a pound.
Olscamp says the province can't control the price.
"As you can appreciate, prices are based upon a supply and demand, free market system. We have no control over that, whether it be lobster or any other commodity," Olscamp said.
The province made an offer to the Maritime Fishermen's Union to help them out, although not the amount that's been rumoured.
"It's a form of compensation, there's no doubt about it, but the figure of $5,000 was never agreed to. It was discussed, but never agreed to," he said.
Olscamp hopes to hear back from the union by Tuesday.
In the meantime, he hopes that "cooler heads will prevail," during the negotiations.
The lobster season in southeastern New Brunswick is scheduled to begin Thursday.