Looking After Our Lobsters
In Canada, lobster is harvested and processed throughout the Atlantic Provinces with lobster fishery taking place relatively close to shore around Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
The protection of lobsters is managed through different methods that depend upon the environmental pressures for each Lobster Fishing Area. The waters of Atlantic Canada are divided into 41 individual Lobster Fishing areas.
Type of lobster
Every lobster is individually checked to see if it is the right size to be caught. In each area upon the Atlantic coast, there are either minimum or maximum lobster sizes. Fisherman can only keep the lobsters when the length of the body is equal to or greater than the set regional standard. This could vary between 71 and 84mm, dependent on the area. This method of conservation ensures that lobsters are only caught at a mature enough age to breed at least once. In Canada, the female lobsters bearing eggs must be released by law and the female lobsters have to be within the minimum and maximum size to ensure that female lobsters at prime breeding size are protected.
Within the various Lobster Fishery Areas, there are different seasons of activity. Atlantic Canada’s staggered fishing seasons are designed to protect summer moults so not only giving the best product but also helping the life cycle of a lobster. Furthermore, in some areas, there are limitations in place regarding the fishing days.
The lobster fishers use small boats to fish with baited traps that are specifically designed to maintain conservation of lobsters in the area. The traps are equipped with escape mechanisms that allow small lobsters to escape. Also, biodegradable panels can allow lobsters to escape in the event that the trap is lost at sea. In fact, there are many regulations and management practices in place for the traps, all to ensure we are taking care with our lobster conservation.