Lobster fishermen say catches down

Published on August 14, 2014

Steve Clements, left, lifts lobster pans as Steve Clements Jr. and Leon MacDonald move the catch Monday in Howard's Cove.

©TC Media photo by Eric McCarthy

ALBERTON — They were short on actual numbers, but lobster fishermen say Monday’s lobster catches were better than they were on Saturday, the first fishing day of the new season.

Fishermen on both sides of Northumberland Strait set their gear Friday in rough seas and while they were permitted to fish their traps that day the majority elected to leave them until Saturday, and then found a lot less lobster in the traps than they expected.

Howard's Cove fisherman David Clements came closest to providing a number, indicating his Monday catch was about 450 pounds better than Saturday, but described the two catches combined as "way down" from previous starts.

West Point fisherman Paul Wood, fuelling up before heading back out to fish the rest of his gear, described the catch as decent, although down from a normal start. He's hoping the price will be up to help make up the difference.

Fishermen remained optimistic the lobsters will trap better once weather conditions improve.

Royal Star Foods manager Francis Morrissey said the low catches on Saturday were to be expected because of the windy weather conditions and strong tides Friday and Saturday.

He noted weather conditions look much more favourable for this week. He commended fishermen for proper handling of their catches, noting that the lobsters were well-iced and the quality looks good.

Besides the rough start, weather-wise, fishermen pointed out they were dealing with some of the strongest moon tides of the year.