DFO lays charges after lobster meat discovery

Amy Woolvett
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Illegal lobster

by Amy Woolvett


The Department of Fisheries and Oceans recently apprehended a lobster fisher and his three crewmembers for illegal possession of cooked lobster meat.

DFO officers seized a bag of cooked lobster meat and cooking utensils from a Lockeport wharf.

“It is illegal for fishers to be in possession of any claw, tail or meat that have been separated from the thorax or carapace of the lobster in a lobster fishing area,” said Shelburne DFO Conservation and Protection Supervisor, Chris Sperry.

He explained that when the lobster is separated it is impossible for the officers to identify what size the lobster is to prevent illegal catching of undersized lobsters.

All four were later charged.

“The lobster fishery is a last staple in some of these communities and its unfortunate this type of event still occurs,” said Sperry.




Organizations: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

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Recent comments

  • Nathan Blades
    May 10, 2010 - 12:32

    Unless we're talking more than a 3-4 lbs of lobster meat, this is meaningless. I can see the spirit of this law is to prevent Fishers from catching and cooking undersized lobsters, making them untraceable and then to illegally sell the meat... but I still can't see a problem with a Fisher being able to take a lobster or two out of their hard-earned catch to cook for lunch or supper aboard their vessel. The same as it is illegal for me to wade into the ocean and take a Lobster out with my bare hands and take it home to cook for supper. DFO - how about some real conservation measures, instead of these tiny stories. Next week we'll hear about another 75 year-old getting busted for digging 1-too many clams off the flats, with an accompanying photo of a DFO Enforcement officer grinding-up the offending clam under the heel of their taxpayer-funded boot. Way to save the fishery, boys and girls.

    • Teresa Stevens
      May 27, 2010 - 15:38

      I think the Shelburne RCMP could be spending their time more wizely!!! Honestly; I think that there are bigger issuses that are tarnishing the reputation of Shelburne County. Worried about one and a half pounds of cooked lobster; please tell me that the tax dollars are being put to better use than that. What has become of my home town? Getting rid of French emerigine will probably be the next stupid move. Oh wait... you already did that. My goodness; talk about depriving Shelburne's future! LMAO, worried about a little bit of lobster...LMAO!!!

    • expat
      May 29, 2010 - 07:24

      I do agree with the above comment to a point; However this is only the tip of the iceberg. If it was limited to a few fisherman taking a few pounds to eat on board and feed his hard working crew that would be fine, however the problem goes much deeper than that. I grew up in the fishing and lobster fishery and seen the collapse of the inshore ground fishery, I realized that the biggest problems faced then, as they are now, is the sense of entitlement held by most fisherman. I’ve seen poaching, illegal nets; I can still come home every summer, take out the outboard, and sure enough at low tide, can find any number of illegal traps set year round. When I ask why they are still doing that, the answer is always the same, its just a few lobsters. This has been going on for so long now that most people actually believe that its part of their culture. Unfortunately this same story plays out in hundreds of communities in the Maritimes, so it ends up being not just a few fish or lobsters, but much more. People have to realize that their actions, no matter how trivial they are, affect all of us. Years ago it was common practice for anyone to go out and catch a few fish for his family, but human nature being what it is, that was taken advantage of until laws had to be put in place. The same is true of the factory ships that prowl the banks catching anything in their path, and fisherman of all sorts valuing the all-mighty buck instead of the survival of the industry, so now there are quotas, or even worse fisheries that are closed. DFO has their part to blame in all this mess as well, as most of their solutions are no better than the problem. The people needed to manage the fisheries are the fishermen themselves but until they are willing to recognize the problems that have existed in their communities for generations, accept responsibility, and find some solutions to them, only then can they be trusted with that task of saving the fishery and managing it effectively …. Until then, the DFO agents will continue to take abuse, the Gov will continue to be criticized, people will keep complaining and the fishery will keep dying. god bless all the fisherman and keep them safe