New Brunswick

Lobster prices climbing as export market grows

While consumers may not like the high cost of lobster, it is good news for lobster fishermen like Clinton Pendleton.

Fishermen hoping for higher landings before season ends

Cold weather and high demand have driven the price of lobster up to $7/lb. (CBC)

While consumers may not like the high cost of lobster, it is good news for lobster fishermen like Clinton Pendleton. 

He fishes with his father and grandfather from Deer Island, N.B., in the Bay of Fundy.

Pendleton said recent cold temperatures are driving down landings because lobsters don't feed when it's too cold. That means they they don't crawl into the baited traps. 

"This year, compared to recent years, I don't remember anytime in June when you were able to see your breath all day long," he said. 

Cold weather and high demand have driven the price up and kept it there this season. 

Lobster exports double

Canadian lobster exports have almost doubled in five years, from just over $1 billion to more than $2 billion worth. 

Since 2012, the onshore price for lobster fishermen has gradually climbed from approximately $3.50/lb to $7/lb, according to figures provided by the Lobster Council of Canada. 

Clinton Pendleton looks at a lobster from his landing. (CBC)

The council says lobster fishermen get approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the value of what they export and 90 per cent of all lobsters now caught in Canada are exported.

With markets rapidly expanding in China, more buyers mean higher prices for fishermen and consumers.

No McLobster roll

As a result of the high price, McDonald's restaurants will not be selling the popular McLobster roll this year. 

But that news doesn't bother Pendleton. ​

Ninety per cent of the lobster caught in Canada is exported overseas. (CBC)

"For us, what we fish here in Canada, it's good hard shell lobsters," he said. "You don't want to waste hard-shelled lobster on a lobster roll, you want those lobster to get overseas."

Now Pendleton is hoping his catch increases before lobster fishing in his zone closes at the end of this month.

With files from Catherine Harrop