Halifax lobster webcam disappearance upsets viewers
Until a few months ago, one of the top webcam sites in the world was Halifax's own LobsterCam, but now visitors to the site are wondering — where did it go?
It attracted hundreds of thousands of hits around the world, and more than 6,000 fans have recommended the site on Facebook.
For months, a simple webcam and a lobster trap captured the fascination of thousands of viewers.
The lobster webcam was set up by Nova Scotia Webcams and Murphy's on the Water, which is a restaurant and tour boat operator. Ralf Pickart wondered what it would be like to be a lobster, so he set up a lobster trap and attached a webcam.
On its first day in August, the webcam attracted 14,000 hits.
Murphy's has several lobster traps in Halifax harbour and has a scientific lobster licence from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for educational purposes.
Any lobsters caught in the webcam trap are released back into the ocean.
But now, click on Pickart's site novascotiawebcams.com, and the lobsters are gone.
"We are looking for an alternate location. We were all set to move it. That's why I posted we will be back soon," said Pickart. "Unfortunately that didn't work out."
Pickart had planned to set up the popular cam back up in another part of the province.
But he couldn't secure a location where the trap can be emptied during the winter months.
So his site, which at one point was one of the most viewed webcams in the world simply says "we will be back shortly."
Fans didn't take it so well.
Murphy's on the Water staff told CBC News they have received dozens of calls wondering where the camera went.
Pickart's comment board has received some queries.
"Shortly seems longer than I anticipated, but I check back daily," said one commenter.
Another commenter from Toronto questioned "Do the Lobsters leave Halifax harbour for a better home in winter?"
"OK, I keep checking in to see if the new spot is up and running but it's not. What will I do without my daily lobster cam fix? I'm really hoping you find a new spot soon. Let us know how you are progressing? Your friend near Lake Erie, in Ontario, Canada."
Pickart says he hopes to have the site up and running again by next summer.
"Stayed tuned. Keep checking the site. I can't promise anything. But I am working on it," he said.