Lobster season off southwest Nova Scotia postponed again due to bad weather

The openings for Canada's largest and most lucrative lobster fisheries have been put off until later this week as harsh weather continue to churn through the Maritimes.

Lobster Fishing Area 33 will open its season Saturday while Area 34 remains undecided

Lobster boats head from West Dover, N.S., on the opening day of the lucrative lobster fishing season in November 2016. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The openings for Canada's largest and most lucrative lobster fisheries have been put off until later this week as harsh weather continue to churn through the Maritimes.

The federal Fisheries Department confirmed Wednesday that industry representatives from Lobster Fishing Area 33, which extends from Halifax to the southwestern tip of the province, have decided to open their season on Saturday at 7 a.m.

About 700 fishing boats are expected to dump their traps that day, unless the weather again turns foul.

In Lobster Fishing Area 34, which includes 970 boats that work the waters off the province's western edge, fishermen and federal officials decided to put off their final decision until a conference call is held Thursday morning.

Fisheries Department spokesperson Debbie Buott-Matheson says the fishermen want the latest marine weather forecasts before they decide whether to start dumping their traps on Friday or Saturday morning.

The season was supposed to start Monday, but industry associations that represent about 6,000 fishermen called for a delay when they learned two weather systems would bring rain, snow and strong winds until Thursday.

Gale warnings remain in effect until late Thursday for the waters off southwestern Nova Scotia.

Typically, the fishing season is delayed if wind speeds are expected to exceed 46 km/h, though other factors are also considered.