Nova Scotia

Lobster season off to excellent start in eastern Cape Breton

Fishermen say the catches, price and weather combined to make a 'gorgeous' start to the season.

Catches, price, weather combine to make 'gorgeous' start to season

Lobster fishermen in Cape Breton say catches on opening day were excellent. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

The opening day of lobster season along the eastern side of Cape Breton is being described as perfect.

"So far, so good," said Merrill MacInnis, who fishes out of Little River Harbour along the North Shore. "Hopefully the conditions will stay great, that's the big thing. It all depends on the weather."

The season in Area 27, which extends from Bay St. Lawrence down to Forchu, was delayed this year due to bad weather.

It was to have opened on Saturday, but fishermen didn't set their traps until Wednesday. They hauled them the next day.

Catches strong

MacInnis said it was the best single-day haul he's had in a long time. He said the water was a little warmer than other opening days, so the lobster were active, which is good news for the catch.

Speaking by phone from his boat, the Breton Cove Bounty, he said he caught about a pound more per trap compared to the first day in previous years.

He hopes to get about $8 per pound.

MacInnis sells to North Nova Seafoods in Pictou, which processes some of the lobster there and ships the rest to the Asian market.

Prices 'unreal'

Adam Sharp, who fishes out of Main-à-Dieu, said catches are much better than expected and prices are great.

"We are finally getting something back," he said.

He attributes the good price to the low Canadian dollar, high demand from China and low catches in other areas.

"There is not a lot of product coming in from the other areas," he said. 

Glace Bay fisherman Herb Nash described the price as "unreal" and "excellent." He is very happy with landings as well. 

"The catches are really good. Everybody is more than pleased with their catches."

Fishermen are reporting catches of 850 pounds to 1,200 pounds on their first day.