Maine lobster prices have hit a thirty-year low, causing hardship and stress for lobstermen from Kittery to Lubec and most everywhere in between. Now the crisis has spread to lobster harvesters in eastern New Brunswick, who've seen prices collapse on the eve of the opening of their summer season, which was to start tomorrow. The difference is that their ire has been directed at, well, lobsters from Maine!
As I reported last week, hundreds of New Brunswick lobstermen have taken matters into their own hands, blockading local processing plants and even a Maine trucker to prevent our lobsters from being delivered there as they always are this time of year. (My colleague, Ed Murphy, got the truck driver, Leonard Garnett of Steuben, on the phone who told of the ordeal, perhaps made more harrowing because of a language barrier; unlike Down East Maine, the regions of New Brunswick that are in protest are largely French-speaking.)
As things heat up -- protests have spread to the northeast and the provincial capital, Fredericton -- I spoke to CBC-New Brunswick's "Information Morning" earlier this morning to give their audience a sense of how the issues are seen from Maine. (I join the show at 3:00, after a taped segment with John Sackton of Seafood.com news.)
For those interested in deeper context for the Maine lobster fishery and the communities that carry it out, I humbly suggest my second book, The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier.