Canadian fishermen protest U.S. lobster

Aug. 8, 2012 at 9:09 AM

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Lobster fishermen in New Brunswick are refusing to work, saying a glut of cheap lobster from the United States has lowered prices out of profitability.

Since last week, the fishermen have been setting up blockades at processing and canning plants throughout the province, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Fishermen say they need to be paid at least $4 a pound for lobster to break even but the bumper harvest off the coast of Maine and other northeastern states has lowered the processor's price to $2.50 a pound, the report said.

Last week, provincial Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp announced the province would establish a fund to compensate the fishermen but details haven't been worked out yet.

Kevin Lacey, Atlantic director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, told the CBC compensation was unfair to all the other workers in New Brunswick who have seen layoffs and slow wage growth for the past two years.

"It sets a bad precedent that now, the province is looking to bail out lobster fishermen when so many others are suffering," Lacey said.

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