New Brunswick

N.B. lobster fishermen resume protests

About 150 lobster fishermen in southeastern New Brunswick were back to protesting Monday.
N.B. fishermen resumed their protests Monday. 2:04

About 150 lobster fishermen in southeastern New Brunswick resumed their protests Monday.

The protests started last week with blockades at processing plants over deliveries of Maine lobster.

Now the fishermen say they're unhappy with the progress their union is making negotiating prices for when their season opens Thursday.

The fishermen first went to the home of Conservative Senator Rose-May Poirier.

Poirier said she could do little to pressure provincial Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp.

"First off, I highly recommend that you need to continue working on a solution. That's the first thing you need to do is work on a solution. And to work on a solution, maybe at one point you have to sit down again to the table and talk," she advised the protesters.

The crowd then made its way to another politician's home — Liberal Senator Fernand Robichaud.

Many of the lobster fishermen gathered in Richibucto Sunday to reject compensation offered by the Maritime Fishermen's Union and provincial government.

That deal would see processors offering $2.50 a pound for canners and $3 a pound for market lobsters, and extra compensation from the province.

A deal all those fishermen protesting believe is not good enough.

"No, we're not going. Not for $2.00, $2.50 we can't go for that. It's crazy. We can't. It's impossible, it doesn't function," said Scott Johnson.

'It doesn't make any sense'

"Just by loading our boats we're going behind. We can't even pay the fuel and the bait to go out that day. It doesn't make any sense to even think about $2.50. That $2.50 is not even on the board."

Fisherman Henry Augustine said the offer was laughable.

"My point of view is the price of lobster is ridiculous," Augustine said.

At the heart of the discontent is the glut of Maine lobster plucked by New Brunswick processors for about $2 per pound.

Last week, fishermen blocked access to three plants, and promised to block more.

The protestors moved onto Crown Seafood Ltd. in Point Sapin later Monday.

That processor was closed, but many of the fishermen say it has been buying up American lobsters for several years.

"We're here to let them know that we still are out here. We're not done yet. That's why we're here today," Johnson said.

The group intends to protest in front of the Maritime Fishermen's Union headquarters in Shediac Tuesday, because many say the union is not doing enough to secure the lobster prices they need.