• Short Summary

    50 million pounds, of approximately 77 million pounds of lobster landed annually in North American waters, is Canada's catch.

  • Description

    LS PAN L/R from dock at St.Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick

    LS from dock at North Rustico, Prince Edward Island, unloading lobsters

    MLS PAN L/R with lobster boat going out to sea --land in background

    MS aboard lobster boat (moving) with 2 fishermen

    LS of lobster boat at sea taken from a moving boat

    MCS Fisherman repairing a trap

    MS Fisherman throwing a buoy into the water

    MS Water splashing on boat's windshield

    CU Trap line - into water

    MLS Fisherman throwing traps into the sea. One by one with boat in motion.

    MS One fisherman at the wheel with other one looking at sea (boat moving)

    CU Lobsters in box (aboard boat)

    MS Fisherman taking out lobsters from trap, and putting in new bait.

    CU Fisherman (owner of boat)

    LS Lobster boat coming back to port with dock in foreground

    LS Conley's Lobster Canneries Buildings.

    MS Employee (packer) at Conley's preparing styrofoam lined box for packing live lobsters

    CU Packer picking live lobsters from container

    CU Live lobsters being packed in styrofoam-lined shipping box

    CU Scale dial with needle at 56 pounds

    MS Packer picking up box from scale and putting it on a hand truck

    MS Packer applying shipping label to box

    CU Shipping label

    LS From L/R - Mr. Harris, manager of Co-Operative at North Rustico; Mr. Eugene Gorman, Deputy Minister of Fisheries in Charlottetown; and Mr. White of the Fisheries Department in Charlottetown trying experimental lobster splitting machine in the co-op building at North Rustico.

    CU Hand of Mr. White inserting claw into machine

    CU Claw being split and coming out of machine

    CU Hands of Mr. Harris holding split claw and giving it to Mr. E. Gorman.

    MLS From L/R - Mr. White, Mr. Farrar, Mr. Gorman and Mr. Harris with splitting machine in foreground.

    MCS Sign of Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Biological Station, St. Andrews, N.B.

    LS Fisheries Research Board Building with dock in foreground

    CU Sign on door closing (TOXICITY LAB) Pollution Biology

    CU Lobsters being lifted out of container filled with pulp waste (poison) and dropped back in

    MLS Scientist in Hatchery

    CU Egg-bearing lobster with scientist's finger pointing at eggs (20,000 to 30,000)


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: 50 million pounds, of approximately 77 million pounds of lobster landed annually in North American waters, is Canada's catch. And about 2/3 of that catch is exported alive to markets thousands of miles away by truck, boat or air.

    Until 1870 lobster fishing in Canada remained on a small scale. With increasing demand and discovery of new fishing grounds the fishery expanded. For over 100 years Canada's lobster fishery has continued to be a small-boat operation. In general use is the open motor boat 24-45 feet long, operated by one or two men. Most fishermen operate within 10 miles of their home port and land catches daily. However, operations are carried on from isolated island bases and catches are landed at weekly intervals.

    There are 4 million lobster traps set each year on the east coast of North America; about 2.4 million of them in Canadian waters. In Canada gear is restricted to the conventional lobster trap - the Quonset lath trap - 2 1/2 x 4 Ft. with the wooden frame covered with laths and netting. Traps are hauled and reset each day. 200-500 traps would be considered a normal fleet of gear. About 1.3 million traps are replaced each year at a cost of $5.3 million. New Aluminum and "igloo" polyethylene traps are being tested. The advantages of the latter would be great; they should last 8 to 10 years compared with 3 for the wooden ones; they are not proof and will not become waterlogged and would not be attacked by marine borers or other sea life.

    Egg-bearing lobsters and those below legal size are returned to the deeps. The legal catch is placed in wooden crates and remains aboard throughout the day's fishing. Lobsters readily injure or kill one another with their large claws and pincer claws often puncture body membranes causing infection or loss of blood. The claws, therefore, are inactivated as soon as possible. The generally accepted method of inactivating claws in North America has been to insert a small wooden or plastic plug in the thumb joint. In some areas fishermen cut tendons at the base of the thumbs to inactivate the claws. Recently, however, interest in the European method of inactivating claws by means of wide rubber bands is spreading and are now easy to apply with a recently developed bander. It is felt the bands should be used in preference to plugs to maintain quality and reduce losses through infection.

    Canada's landings are heaviest in May, June and December in contrast to the USA where most catch is landed July to October, 95% of the North American catch is taken off the coasts of the Canadian Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and from coastal waters off Massachusettes and Maine in the United States.

    Impounded lobsters are carefully culled and are fed daily making the stock from the pounds the best lobster you can buy. Lobsters for export are starved for 3 or 4 days before shipment because fed landed lobsters consume twice as much oxygen as unfed lobsters and the level remains high for 3 or 4 days. During shipment therefore the carbon dioxide increase cannot reach lethal levels.

    Conley's Lobsters Ltd. at St. Andrews, New Brunswick, is the largest live lobster distributing plant in the world. This plant has 180 tanks of 1,000 pounds capacity each. The cold water and the extreme rise and fall of tide ??? itself to a project of this size. The water in mid-summer rarely goes above 55????F. As many as 67,000 pounds of lobster a day are unloaded at this plant. Surplus lobster is transported to natural holding pounds to be used at such times as the seasons are closed in fishing; thus enabling this firm to ship lobsters every day in the year. Open year round, party or individual shipments can be arranged at any time. Conley's pound-fed lobsters are in constant demand by the U.S.A. Thousands of pounds are shipped to Europe.

    A one-pound lobster is from 6 to 8 years of age. The world's record size lobster caught weighed 42 1/2 lbs.

    At the Fisheries Research Board (Atlantic Biological Station) in St. Andrews New Brunswick, tests are being made to see whether lobsters will grow in the lab. Science versus nature. They are analysing the dissolve of oxygen during tests on water pollution to grown lobsters and larvae..(the average female carries 20-30,000 eggs. About 5% survive the floating period). Minimum space and minimum amounts of water needed for lobster survival are also being ascertained for suitable adaptation in restaurants.

    Lobster splitting is a step toward automating the lobster industry and eliminating one of the more tedious hand operations in preparing lobster for canning and freezing. As well, it will have use in large hotels and restaurants. In the canning industry the devise will be able to split 300-400 lobsters an hour and the device will prevent damage of choice portions. Cooked lobsters are fed into the machine and carried along a chute by a pulley. The lobster passes between 2 circular revolving regulated cutters which contact the shell at both top and bottom. Claws receive similar treatment.

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