2. A look at life involving lobster in Shelburne County...
9. Fisherman’s Memorial, Shelburne NS
23. Thomas Bower Sitting down with my uncle, Age: 43 Hometown: Cape Island Job: Lobster Fisherman Fishing District: District 34 Boat: Haw “ I don’t enjoy lobster fishing, I love it!”
24. How long have you been fishing? -23 years. What is your district area? -District 34, the largest one in Nova Scotia. How many traps can you fish? -In the winter, 375. In the spring you get 25 more tags and 25 replacement tags. Do you have your own license and how did you get it? -I have a personal fishing license, someone I fish with has a lobster license. How do you feel about the upcoming season? -Scared about the price and the catch but the lobsters are either there or they aren't. There is talk of an opening price of $4.00, which is 5 cents more than lobsters sold for 23 years ago when I started. Last year they sold for 6 to 8 dollars.
26. How do you feel about the future of the lobster fishery, is it something your children will continue to do? -There are too many people moving away, and licenses are too expensive. One good thing now is that companies cannot hold a license. People are going to stop if prices are low, 75 families moved west from Cape Island last year, it is risky to know if you will make a living. Is the lobster fishery a necessary part of small town life? -Yes, definitely, if they (the fishermen) aren’t doing anything, no one else is. How much longer do you plan on fishing? -As long as my back will let me, it is a physically demanding job, at least until 55. Do you have any problems with the rules and regulations of the lobster fishery? -Not the lobster fishery, but scallop draggers disrupt the bottom where we lobster, when they could be elsewhere. Do you enjoy lobster fishing? -I don’t enjoy it, I love it.
27. What kind of education do you have, would you be able to support your family if the lobster fishery collapsed? -Grade 10 equivalency, and Marine Engineering Journeys Ticket which would allow me to work in other marine related fields, such as on a Coast Guard boat. How big do lobsters need to be? -3 ¼ inches, if they are smaller they are called tinkers and must be released. Are you an inshore of offshore fisherman? -Start inshore and then move 4 hours offshore afterwards. Do you eat a lot of lobster or other local seafood? -Not lobsters, maybe one meal a week, but lots of other seafood. Are the lobsters you catch sold to someone local? -Yes, the dealer is local in Clark’s Harbour. Have you ever had a bad experience with fellow fishermen? -Yes, ‘burning pots off,’ lost pots because someone laid their line over ours. How often do you check your traps? -You have to check every 72 hours, we try to go every day, especially at the start of the season.
28. How many people go out on the boat with you? -3 people, Captain and 2 crew. Do you see many young people who are interested in this line of work? -Not really now, lots of people are moving away. Do you catch anything in your traps besides lobster? -Yes, so much! Scallops, sea cucumbers, sea pumpkins, sea urchins, cod fish, sand dollars, mackerel, etc. We have to throw it all back. What do you use as bait? -frozen mackerel, frozen herring, rotten mackerel, red fish etc. How much did you catch last year? -In total about 56-57 thousand pounds.
29. Lobster Traps- American, $110 each
30. <ul><li>Lobster season opened the morning of November 25 th </li></ul><ul><li>The opening price of lobster was around $3.25 </li></ul><ul><li>This season will be interesting to follow... </li></ul>