With a loud “Woohoo!” over VHF radio, the lobster fishing fleet from Yarmouth Harbour opened throttles on their vessels and surged past the Cape Forchu Light.
Hundreds turned out to watch the heavily laden boats depart at 6 a.m. All along the coast of Southwest Nova, similar scenes took place from dozens of other wharves.
Locally referred to as “dumping day”, the event is fraught with danger for several reasons, including the offloading of the pots (traps).
Fishermen must wrestle the single pots and trawls (groups of connected pots) into position on the stern of the boat to be yanked into the sea.
Each licence holder is permitted to set 375 pots for the season. Some fishermen have invested in wider vessels in order to load most of the traps for one trip. Windy weather can pose great danger to the heavily loaded boats.
This year, the start of the season was delayed one day because of forecast high winds.
There are approximately 1,700 licence holders in lobster fishing areas (LFAs) 33 and 34. Processors usually purchase an average of 10 million pounds of lobster from this region during the season.
Fishermen are deeply concerned this year about the price they will be paid for their catch.
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