New Brunswick

What's going to have two claws and a hard shell? Shippagan's new roadside attraction

If the town of Shippigan has its way, they will be building a giant crab, a tribute to its large fishing industry.

Giant crab 'a wink' to Shippagan fishing community, says tourism manager

The crab boats sitting in dry-dock in Shippagan are a tourist draw, says town official Jules Desylva. (Gail Harding/CBC)

Shediac has the giant lobster. Campbellton has the giant salmon. You can see giant fiddleheads in Plaster Rock and a giant cow and calf in Sussex. 

And if Shippagan has its way, there will soon be a giant crab, a tribute to its fishing industry. 

The Town of Shippagan believes the sight of big crab boats dry-docked at its sprawling wharf is not enough for tourists to see when visiting during the summer, said Jules Desylva, who manages tourism for the town.

The town wants to build something even bigger, something that represents the main industry in the Acadian town.

The giant crab will act as a tribute the local crab industry. (Radio-Canada/Martin Toulgoat)

"Our trademark in the tourism sector is the big Atlantic fleet (of crab boats) so we want to make a sense of belonging with the community towards the fishing industries," Desylva said.

Rest stop

The plan is to build the giant crab on land the town owns beside the large crab boat shipyard. The crab will be the focal point of a rest stop the town wants to develop at that location. 

"It would be a rest stop with a visitor centre and maybe docks, a lookout and a giant crab," he said. 

Desylva said it would be a little wink to the crab industry. 

"We want to develop a sense of belonging with the fisheries community and how our community is based on the fisheries industries," he said.

"When you come to Shippagan, what do you want to do, what do you want to see? It's all based on the sea."

Desylva said people are already stopping at that location to take pictures of the boats. 

The project is in the early stages of development, but Desylva said they hope to have it opened by 2020 so people can stop and visit the giant crab. 

Desylva said they are developing the town's tourism plan to complement what is being planned by the Acadian tourism organization. 

He said the cost remains unclear until a consultant is hired to develop a plan.

With files from Shift New Brunswick