Nfld. & Labrador

Fishermen take their lobster to N.S.

Some fishermen are not waiting for the Newfoundland and Labrador government to grant permission on selling lobster catches out of province, with landings expected on Friday.

Some fishermen are not waiting for the Newfoundland and Labrador government to grant permission to sell lobster catches out of province, with the first external sale expected in Nova Scotia on Friday.

"Fishermen feel like they've got no other recourse and they're trying to break this system," said Bill Broderick, who works with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union.

He said a truckload of lobster, worth more than $5,000, would be sold to an unnamed buyer in Nova Scotia.

"We could have sold ten truckloads if we could get it there, but physically that's all we could do today," Broderick  said.

Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman has said he is considering an FFAW request to allow out-of-province lobster sales, amid a dispute sparked when some processors refused to honour a price set by an independent panel.

Jackman's office said it is watching what fishermen will be doing in Nova Scotia on Friday.

Broderick told CBC News he did not expect any trouble from the government.

"I can't speak for what the minister will do, but I can't imagine that he'd, you know, seize lobster from the fishermen here that desperately need it to make their living," Broderick said.

Meanwhile, an official said the dispute could be resolved as early as Friday, when processors make a presentation to a price-setting panel.

The Seafood Producers of Newfoundland and Labrador said the price schedule set this spring means buyers would lose money in the current market.

The price-setting panel set an opening price of $4.26 per pound, dropping a few cents for late April.

About six million pounds of lobster are harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador annually.