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Ice conditions delay lobster season start for section of Notre Dame Bay

Heavy ice conditions in a section of Notre Dame Bay - North Head to Cape Freels – has delayed the opening of the area’s lobster fishery until May 18.
Heavy ice conditions in a section of Notre Dame Bay - North Head to Cape Freels – has delayed the opening of the area’s lobster fishery until May 18. - SaltWire File Photo

Severe ice conditions in a section of Notre Dame Bay — North Head to Cape Freels — has delayed the start of the area’s lobster fishery.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada said, in an emailed statement, it considered the advice of local harvesters in making the decision.

“Safety is our priority when deciding whether to delay a fishery due to ice conditions,” read the statement. Adding, delays due to ice are not unusual for this area

The season will now run from May 18 to July 12.

According to Stag Harbour fisherman Perry Coish it delays the start date by one week.

However, he said, harvesters will still get a full eight-week fishery, as the lost days have been tacked on.

“It was supposed to close July 5, but now it’s July 12,” he said. “Hopefully the weather will be better in July to make up for it.”

Coish, who’s been fishing for the past 30 years, said harvesters have gambled with heavy ice conditions in the past and it is something that often leads to lost fishing gear.

To him it’s a decision that made sense.

“The wind for the next week is supposed to be on the shore, so the ice conditions won’t change,” he said. “You can’t go lobster fishing in those conditions so what’s the point of opening it.”

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