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Lobster boats in Yarmouth Bar on the morning of Dumping Day. (Acadia News Photo)

Lobster fishers to vote on matching U.S. minimum size increase

By Kevin Northup Apr 11, 2024 | 2:56 PM

An important vote is coming in the lobster industry.

The United States will increase the minimum size of lobster allowed to be caught by about two millimetres in 2025.

Fishers in southwestern N.S. now have to decide if they’ll match it, and move away from their standard of 82.5 millimetres.

Heather Mulock with the Coldwater Lobster Association says it could affect exports to the U.S.

“It’s enough that we have to consider if it’s in our best interest, not just from an economic and market point of view, but also sustainability. We’ve seen a decline in our stock the last seven or eight years,” said Mulock.

She says the decline could be a long-term trend, climate change, illegal fishing activity or a combination of all.

Thirty-nine percent of Canadian lobster is exported south of the border.

Mulock says the new U.S. rules would affect about 12-15 percent of the overall catch.

“A few millimetres might not sound like a lot, but when you’re talking about live lobster, it can be significant. We need to look at how this would affect LFA 34, and others adjacent to us.”

Mulock adds it’s not easy to open other markets for export, a lot of work has to go into it.

The vote is anticipated in late May or early June.