Lobster season May 1 st in N.B. Cold, overcast today.

Lobster season will start on May 1st in New Brunswick, on the Bay of Chaleur. I remember driving to work at 6:00 am in the morning, watching the boats bobbing around on the sea with a glimmer of a rising sun. I always wondered why they went at it, so early.

But, in the back of my mind, I realized the huge amount of traps that they had to put in the water. They may vary from approximately 200 traps, depending on what zone they fish in. They are heavy, but use a winch device to roll them on the boat with a line. All the traps are attached to a line, a string of so many, then to a buoy. Usually they throw the smaller ones back (3 1/4 inch across the back), and in some areas, the larger ones as well  (5 inches across the back), to keep a continual stock for the future. I know my cousin worked on a boat, and talking about cold hands, and a long hard day of work.

Some problems with the fishery in the past, included years when they were not many yields. My father and I would go to the boats, when they would come in. We would talk to them, ask them how the catches were. When they would say, not very good, we could see they had not as many full crates on the boat. As of late, we were very lucky, as the prices went down. This was due to the financial markets, and the unwillingness of people to buy the expensive crustacean. The supply was fairly healthy, as well.

Then in the local news, you hear of disputes between fisherman and the natives which happened in Burnt Church, near the Mirimichi. Sometimes it happens, when an area closes a wharf, and other boats have to share a neighboring wharf. Their licenses are good for the entire bay, but sometimes other fisherman entering into a new area is not welcome. Many see it as, their traditional fishing grounds, as well. I have heard of the odd cutting of fishermens lines, when a dispute would arise among them. Maybe the reason for getting up so early, to head out towards their traps. Just when daybreak arises

All in all, the past little while as been tranquil for the lobster fishing in New Brunswick. We hope for them a good season, for all of them. When cooking them, my parents used to put in a large quantity of salt, and boil them for 20 minutes. Now this was for cooking 6 to 8 lobsters at once. Some people say that is too long, that 12 minutes in boiling water is suffice. At any rate, they say when one of the back paws come off easily, they are done.  1 tsp of salt per liter of water, but everyone has different tastes as well.


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