Record lobster season hurting fishermen
Some brokers have stopped buying, set quotas due to unprecedented catches
Lobster fishermen in northeastern New Brunswick are reporting record catches and are getting nervous no one will buy their product.
It’s only halfway through the lobster season, but some brokers have already stopped buying and others have set daily quotas.
Lobster broker Danny Cormier says catches are hitting record-breaking levels and there aren't enough processing plants to keep up.
"There's an 80-million pound increase in landings in 2012 from 2007," he said.
"It's heartache," said Yves Gagnon, a fisherman in Inkerman. "It's the first year we're like that."
Gagnon said he’s never seen anything like it in his 30 years on the water.
He’s worried about what it will mean for fishermen like him.
"Two buyers, they quit buying for the rest of the season. There's a lobster plant in St. Simon who's closed for the rest of the season too. My buyer until now said, ‘We're going to buy your lobster day by day,’" he said.
"Maybe he won't be able to buy tomorrow. We don't know."
As it stands, Gagnon said his buyer will only accept 600 pounds of lobster each day, which is about half of his daily catch.
With a month still left in the lobster season, many fishermen in the region are nervous others brokers will follow suit, he said.