Canada lobstermen renew fight over minimum size
It’s a tiny difference — just one millimeter or about 1/25th of an inch — but it is prompting a large battle between PEI and New Brunswick fishermen over the size of the lobster they can catch in the shared waters of the Northumberland Strait.
Right now, fishermen there can catch lobsters whose carapace — the armor-like abdomen of the crustacean, minus its tail — is a minimum of 72 mm.
PEI fishermen, who have built a market exporting smaller lobsters to Europe and Asia, want that minimum to stay where it is.
New Brunswick, on the other hand, hopes the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans will raise that minimum to 73 mm, and keep increasing it until it reaches 77 mm. Fishermen there argue that for their market, bigger is better. Last year, for example, Red Lobster announced it would not buy lobster tails under four ounces. To be competitive, New Brunswick fishermen argue, they need to have access to larger lobsters — and they fear that PEI will catch the smaller ones before they have a chance to grow.