The areas off Southwest Nova Scotia are open for lobstering starting December 1. In years past, you could count on 1 to 2 million pounds a day of lobsters coming ashore, but pretty much anyone who spends any amount of time on the ocean these days will tell you that fishing in the North Atlantic is not the same as it used to be. The wind blows harder and for longer, regularly. That means fewer fishing days, which results in fewer lobsters landed.
The second dynamic that has changed is that the amount of storage for live lobsters has almost quadrupled. This means that the live trade buyers set the initial dock price so high that lobster processors (the people who make lobster tails and pick lobster meat) are unable to compete. When they catch more than the live trade can absorb, they put the lobsters in tubes in storage for months. It is a crazy gamble that pays off most years, but in other years it is a spectacular disaster. However, the net result is that lobster prices are held artificially high. Doesn’t that make you want to hug your Canadian lobster buyers? We will see what happens this year, but for the last four or five years, the weather has significantly restricted the harvest.