In 2012, Southwest Nova’s LFA 34 contributed approximately 1/3 of the nearly billion dollar Nova Scotian seafood export sector.
During the 2011/12 season more than 45 million pounds of lobster were landed here. A fishing area of such great significance, pride, and history will gain greater recognition and achieve greater success through organization.
I realize efforts have been made, especially when times are tough. Last season LFA 34 asked for help and the Report of the Maritime Lobster Panel was the result. This document put forward many recommendations for the industry; the following may be the most important. “Recommendation #1: The Panel recommends that fishermen come together and, where not already in place, establish and participate in well-organized, representative fishermen’s organizations…”
LFA 34 harvests and distributes more product than any other lobster fishery in the world. We export what is widely considered the world’s finest lobster; contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to Nova Scotia. I understand the frustrations and I believe difference of opinion is important; it sparks debate with fellow fishermen. However, I suggest resolutions can be worked out more effectively within an organization (where the rest of the world doesn’t see it). Once you organize the rest of the world will be able see a proud, independent and sustainable fishery.
My childhood was spent fishing off docks; my years here in Yarmouth have only increased my affinity toward fishing and the industry as a whole. Like the fishermen , I see the opportunities; they greatly outweigh the challenges, which is why I’m willing to help. I’m offering my time and experience to those who wish to move LFA 34 toward the creation of one representative organization. If movement is already occurring in some management realms, then to them I reiterate my willingness to assist. I’m an outsider, which is why I’d like to hear their thoughts so feel free to respond to this letter; publicly or privately via the email provided.
As LFA 34 goes, so goes Southwest Nova Scotia.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Clark Sigfridson owns C.S. Elliot Trading Company Ltd. a research and development and business consulting firm currently focused on permanent marking technology for lobster branding and traceability, automated sorting and grading concepts, and fisheries derivatives.