While the majority of LFA 34 lobster fishermen are still holding out for a $5 shore price until the end of May, there was a show of support for fishermen who want to go fishing and salvage what they can out of the last month of the season at the Shag Harbour wharf on Wednesday.
Several hundred people including boat captains and fishing crews from a number of ports attended the meeting.
At least a dozen RCMP officers were also in attendance to ensure the peace was kept and there were no repeats of the civil unrest and vandalism that occurred on the Shag Harbour wharf on Monday when lobster fishing boats returned to port after a day on the water.
“We called this meeting to see who’s interested in going,” said fishing boat captain Curtis Halliday. “I think the point has been made. I think it’s time to go fishing.”
- Read more special articles :
- - 1688 issues apology for confusion
- - Vote favours strike; but 1688 says go fishing
- - 1688 says strike continues
- - Striking fishermen seek price commitment
“We all know we need a better price,” added Shag Harbour port rep Morris Shand. “Let us fish the spring and get out of it what we can for the captains and crews. Wait until June and get together and work something out (price-wise) for next fall.”
As it is, lobster boats from a few ports in LFA 34 have not been tied up for the past week, nor have vessels in neighbouring LFA 33.
Woods Harbour fishermen made it clear at a meeting Wednesday night of the 1688 Professional Lobster Fishermen’s Association that they were staying tied up.
“We’re standing fast,” said one fisherman.
The same sentiment was echoed by other association members from other ports in Shelburne and Yarmouth counties, with talk of landing gear and calling it a season.
Association spokesman James Mood told members he has met with lobster dealers that day, whose offer was the same as was to the LFA 34 Management Board - $5 shore price until midnight Saturday and $4.50 a pound until May 12. After that the situation would have to be reassessed.
Negotiations were expected to continue Thursday, with tentative plans for another meeting on Friday at the Mariner’s Centre in Yarmouth to update members.
Meanwhile fishing boats from Shag Harbour and some ports on Cape Sable Island did head to sea to tend their gear on Thursday.
The RCMP were maintaining a strong presence in the community, monitoring a protest group camped on the Cape Sable Island Causeway as well as the local wharves.