Cape Breton fishermen pray as lobster season begins
The Blessing of the Fleet ceremony is a tradition in fishing communities
Nova Scotia lobster fishermen and their families gathered on their boats in Main-a-Dieu on Sunday for the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony.
"Protect our fishers during this fishing season and give them a bountiful catch," Father Savarimuthu Rajasekar prayed.
The ceremony is a tradition in many fishing communities.
The Cape Breton fishermen also prayed for the three fishermen whose boat capsized in New Brunswick on Saturday.
"It kind of brings you back to reality, it makes you realize how difficult of a job that it is to be a fishermen and what kind of risks they put themselves through in order to make a life. Makes you think about all the people you care about a lot who are going out to the seas every day," said Amanda MacDougall, whose father is a fisherman.
This year's season was delayed by a dispute over prices. The fishermen agreed to head out on Monday at a guaranteed price of $4.25 a pound, but they were hoping for $5 a pound.
Fishermen Ken Wadden said rising costs are still a big concern.
"Every one of them, I don't care if it comes from Ottawa right down. They should be ashamed of themselves for seeing the price go down this bad. See what the fishermen, what they got to go through and everything else and put their lives on the line for what? Four and a quarter," he said.
Tony MacDougall said he's hoping the numbers will rise in the coming weeks.
"I'm really nervous about the price of course, because of the payments I have to make on this boat and the licence, but I'm sure everything will work out," he said.
Visiting priest Father Tom Lathigee asked the Holy Spirit to bless the fishermen, but said he doesn't know if God can do anything about lobster prices.
The season in eastern Cape Breton will run until July 15.