Lobster fishermen wait for price set
Lobster fishermen on P.E.I.'s north shore landed their second catch of the season on Tuesday, but say there's still no word on how much they will be paid.
Robbie More, a fishermen from Covehead, said the water is still cold and that means lower than usual catches for this time of year.
"The catches are slower than what they were this time last year for sure, but that's probably a good thing," he told CBC News.
"Don't want a whole bunch of lobsters coming on the market."
The current retail price for live lobster is between $5.25 to $8 a pound. Fishermen are still waiting to hear how much they will be paid for their lobster, most of which goes for processing.
"I just asked a buyer today — today is the second day we came in with lobsters — I said, 'What's the price?' They don't got a clue," said Joey Gauthier, a lobster fisherman from Rustico.
"So two days we unloaded and don't have an idea in the world."
After Ocean Choice International announced last month that it was putting its plant in Souris up for sale and would not open for the spring fishery, many lobster fishermen wondered where their catch would go.
Charles Osborne, a Rustico fisherman, said he's hearing much of the catch will go to processors outside the province.
"Our processing industry on P.E.I. seems to be taking a downturn and New Brunswick is picking up the slack, so probably mostly New Brunswick processors are in control of P.E.I. lobster right now," he said.
That led some customers to go to the wharf to buy lobster directly from the boats.
"In my own sense I'd rather give it to the fishermen direct than have it kind of go through the process, up the price and the fishermen not get it," said Spurgeon Stewart.