The largest and most lucrative lobster fishery in Canada opened for the season on Tuesday.
More than 1,000 lobster boats loaded with traps set off from a number of wharves as the sun rose over southwestern Nova Scotia.
In Yarmouth, which has one of the largest lobster fleets, the winds were calm and the clear sky was a mix of pink and blue at 7 a.m. as dozens of boats sailed past the lighthouse at Cape Forchu.
Known as dumping day, which refers to the first day of dumping traps into the ocean, the event was originally scheduled for Monday, but strong winds forced a delay.
Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, the Nova Scotia MP for South Shore-St. Margaret’s, was at the wharf in Volgers Cove, N.S., to see the boats off at dawn.
“We wish them a safe season and good prices when they come back in,” she said in a YouTube video. “I also want to say thank you to the Canadian Coast Guard, who are out there on the water today looking after our fishers. This is a really important job.”
In 2016, fishermen working the lobster fishing areas that opened Tuesday hauled in $494-million of the $1.3-billion generated that year by the entire Canadian lobster fishing industry.
The lobster business on the East Coast remains a crucial economic engine, employing about 30,000 harvesters.
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