Southwest Nova Scotia lobster fishery hauls big catches in good weather
'This year it's like summer,' says fisherman Benjie Nickerson in West Pubnico, N.S.
The winter lobster season in southwest Nova Scotia is bringing in big catches, thanks to clear skies, calm seas and frisky lobster, fishermen say.
"This is by far the best year weather-wise we've ever had," fisherman Benjie Nickerson said from the wharf in West Pubnico, a small Acadian fishing village about 40 kilometres southwest of Yarmouth.
"It stays calm. There's no seas and we can move our traps wherever we want."
The warm weather means more lobster, fisherman Graham d'Eon said.
"The lobsters move a lot more. When the weather's not good, they hide. When it's cold, they don't move," d'Eon said. "It's really good this year."
The mild weather makes the work less taxing and possibly safer for fishermen, who are out on the boats for sometimes days at a time.
Ten days after the season opened, there are thousands of pounds of live lobster being held in water off wharves, waiting to be sold. Lobster is going for $6 per pound right now, about $2 more than last year.
"Normally, we have to struggle with the weather and this year it's like summer. We've never seen it before — or I haven't," said Nickerson, who's fished about 25 years.
"It just helps. Everything goes easier. Everything goes faster."
Some worry a glut in the fishery could push the price down, but Nickerson says winter could stop that.
"When the weather changes, we'll be done because the water will cool off, lobsters will go dormant and then we'll be done to till the spring," he said.