Group buys lobsters for release into the wild


PICTOU, Nova Scotia (AP) – Some lucky lobsters trapped on the last day of fishing season will live to swim again.

Kay Wallace, director of the Gulf Nova Scotia Bonafide Fisherman’s Association, said the organization will buy more than $240,000 worth of lobster from fishermen from Pictou to Aulds Cove today and will release them back into fishing grounds.

“The effort behind this is we want to maintain a sustainable fishery,” said Wallace.

“Science predicts 80 percent of those lobster will spawn again and molt.”

In areas where fishermen’s individual lobster landings were more than 10,000 pounds, the association is willing to collect 200 pounds from each fisherman, one male for every five females of comparable size.

In areas where individual landings were below that amount, they will purchase up to 400 pounds from each fisherman.

“We’re paying shore price,” she said. Currently that amount is $6.75 per pound.

Two fishermen at each wharf have been appointed project leaders and will issue payment when the lobsters are received.

At the end of the day, project leaders will sail out to their respective fishing grounds and dump their load back into the Northumberland Strait.

The organization is using its snow crab fishery allocation to fund the program.

Wallace said at the majority of wharves from northern Nova Scotia to Cape Breton, lobster landings were down this year compared to 2006 totals.

“It’s been a poor season for weather and the lobster just don’t move on days where there is an easterly wind,” said the director.

Fishermen experienced easterly winds on 35 days during the two-month long season.

AP-ES-06-29-07 0912EDT