News Release Archive

Fisheries Minister Jim Barkhouse said today he is encouraged by
the recent show of support from New Brunswick that lobsters
should be larger in size before they are harvested in the Gulf of
St. Lawrence. Mr. Barkhouse has urged his federal counterpart to
take action on implementing the conservation measure in time for
the 1997 lobster season.

In a letter to Fisheries and Oceans Minister Fred Mifflin, Mr.
Barkhouse said that Nova Scotia has been actively promoting an
increase in carapace (shell) size for the Northumberland Strait
portion of the fishery for over 10 years.

"Now that we have a neighbouring province on side, it is time to
take decisive action. The benefits of an increase in carapace
size have been well demonstrated, and accepted by the scientific
community and most fishermen. Such a move will provide the
stability needed for the future of the lobster resource and
industry," Mr. Barkhouse said.

"All avenues for discussions and review have been exhausted and
the results are clear," he said. He said that a provincially
sponsored, program from 1987 to 1990 off western Cape Breton,
showed the benefits of increasing the carapace size.

Tagged small lobster that were returned to the ocean remained in
the area, and grew to be harvested again at a larger size. "Many
of these lobsters would have produced eggs at least once before
being harvested. This is good for the resource and, in the long
term, it is good for the fishermen," he said.

Fear by fishermen of loss of income proved to be unfounded, he
said. "The slight loss experienced in the initial year was more
than made up for in subsequent years. Essentially fishermen were
able to maintain their landings while catching fewer lobsters."

Mr. Barkhouse said that recent recommendations by the Fisheries
Resource Conservation Council calling for increased conservation
of lobster stocks further demonstrates the growing support for an
increase in carapace size.


Contact: Greg Roach   902-424-0348

         Diane Kenny  902-424-0308

trp                      Feb. 6, 1997 - 4:19 p.m.