Update from Chief & Council & Fisheries regarding Lobster Fisheries, April 03, 2020

April 3, 2020

Dear Ugpi’ganjig commercial lobster fishers and families;


As previously mentioned, we would provide updates as they are received. On April 2nd, there were three different calls regarding both the snow crab and the lobster fishery. As these were the first call on this topic there were a lot of questions and no very many answers. There will be a continued weekly conference call to determine details around bother fisheries.

As of now, we are expecting a delay in bother of the fisheries. Anticipated start date for crab is April 15th, 2020, however it is very likely that this date could be pushed further to the beginning of
May. The lobster fishery looks like it may start on June 1st rather than the usual May 1st, however complications such as moulting season could affect this decision. The deciding factor in both fisheries lies with the processors, time is needed to ensure that the plants have safety protocols in place to ensure their employees are protected against the COVID-19 virus. The NB processors feel that the scheduled start ups do not provide enough time to operate safely and at a capacity that is financially feasible.

In addition to the processors, our harbour authority will play a key role in the opening of the season. They will be responsible for determining a plan for their operation and making the recommendation to DFO. We hope for a successful season and prosperity for all families; however, we must do this in a safe way.

As more updates become available, we will continue to share via the website.


Chief, Council and Fisheries