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This major change could have significant effects on the lobster industry in Canada.

Lobster: US increases minimum size ;scabies

A fisherman measures a lobster caught off the coast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, August 21, 2013.


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Another tile falls on the lobster fishing industry. A major change in the United States could have significant consequences for Canadian lobster.

Faced with the decrease in landings in the Gulf of Maine, we have just increased the minimum size of lobsters that can be fished in New England.

The objective is to preserve the resource. Traditionally, this measure is revised to leave more lobsters in the water that will reproduce.

In Canada, we are preparing for the shock of the American decision. A significant amount of American lobster is processed in plants in the Maritime provinces; this allows us to bridge the gap between our fishing seasons.

LoadingIn the land of cans, life is hard and frette

ELSE ON NEWS: In the land of cans, life is hard and tight< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The two fisheries, fishing efforts, are largely complementary, said Nat Richard, general manager of the Lobster Processors Association, on the sidelines of the U.S.-Canada Lobster Town Meeting on Thursday in Moncton, New Brunswick.

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Nat Richard, the general manager of the Lobster Processors Association in Moncton, Thursday.

It's inevitable, an increase in the permitted size means fewer lobsters caught. In this case, that will mean less American lobster processed in Canadian plants.

It's difficult to predict what the implications will be precise, but there will be some, according to Nat Richard. Canada is the biggest market for American lobster, he recalls.

That lobsters caught in New England are larger is one thing, but if American regulators decided to ban the purchase of Canadian lobsters that are undersized regulatory in the United States, this could hurt Canadian fishermen.

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Luc LeBlanc, fisheries advisor at the Maritime Fishermen's Union, in Moncton, Thursday.

Luc LeBlanc, fisheries advisor to the Maritime Fishermen's Union (UPM), said Thursday that it is a possibility, not for this year, but in the near future.< /p>

We would then risk a drop of 30% to 40% in exports of live Canadian lobsters to the United States, he says.

In Canada, the minimum lobster shell size allowed to be fished is 81 millimeters in most areas. For some, it's even lower.

Fishermen in the Northeast U.S. can catch lobsters 82.5 millimeters and larger. Over five years from January 1, 2025, the permitted size will increase to 86 millimeters.

It's still an increase that is considerable. There are not many Canadian lobsters that would qualify for export to the United States, notes Luc LeBlanc.

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Cargoes of live lobster from the Maritimes leave from the Moncton airport to be delivered to China. (Archive photo)

For Canadian fishermen, there is the important Chinese market and those which are developing in Europe, but the main export market remains the United States.< /p>

In an interview on the sidelines of the U.S.-Canada Lobster Town Meeting, Luc LeBlanc explained that the American decision makes good sense, from a point of view resource conservation view.

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The U.S.-Canada Lobster Town Meeting began Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Moncton.

Stocks are really in danger in the Gulf of Maine, according to the UPM representative.

The Atlantic States Fisheries Commission estimated that the number of juvenile lobsters has declined by 39% since 2016 in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. Landings by U.S. fishermen declined by about 30% last year.

The compound effect over five or six years is truly a disaster. Fishermen and the industry in general in Maine are in save-the-furniture mode.

A quote from Luc LeBlanc, Fisheries Advisor, Maritime Fishermen's Union

Increase the minimum carapace size for lobsters to try to increase what in fishing is called recruitment, therefore the production of larvae and new lobsters, he says. The more we increase the minimum size, the more likely female lobsters are to reproduce.

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First day of lobster fishing of the 2022 season at Meteghan Harbour, Nova Scotia.

It's backed by science, says Nat Richard. Canada did it too. On the Canadian side, we recognize that it paid off, that these were the right decisions from an inventory management point of view.

The The bet is that in the long run, the year after, in two years, three years, possibly, it pays off, he concludes.

Immediately – and at a time when a new temporary factory closure is announced, that of Raymond O'Neill & Son Fisheries, in Escuminac, New Brunswick – the processing sector is weakened, says Nat Richard.

According to the report by Nicolas Steinbach

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