Nova Scotia

Minister worried about lobster fishing group's plans

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau says he is very concerned about the idea of fishermen staying ashore until they get a better price for their catch.

Fishermen to vote this week on whether to tie up boats over low prices

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau says he is very concerned about the idea of fishermen staying ashore until they get a better price for their catch.

Lobster fishermen from Yarmouth, Shelburne and Digby have banded together to form the Professional Lobster Fishermen's Association. (CBC)

However, Belliveau said he does support the newly-established Professional Lobster Fishermen's Association in southwest Nova Scotia.

As of Jan. 10, the group refuses to sell lobster for under $5.50 a pound.

The move comes after prices dropped dramatically from about $10 a pound to under $6 at most grocery stores just before Christmas. Fishermen were getting about $3.50 per pound, but said their costs are about $4.

Belliveau — once a lobster fisherman himself — said there are other players in the industry, such as the managements for Nova Scotia fishing LFA districts 33 and 34, that need to be consulted before action is taken.

"There's an elected body there … and with all due respect, I think they need to be at the table and consulted on the options that it's going to have, and the effect on this industry," Belliveau told CBC News on Sunday.

"Naturally, the buyers, the processors, there's a lot of people involved, and the lobster council — there's a lot of players, [and] I guess my angle would be that has to be thoroughly reviewed by all stakeholders."

The fishermen's group will vote on the motion to tie up their boats this week, but it needs at least 80 per cent support for the motion to pass.

Fishing season for districts 33 and 34 ends May 31.

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