Protests Over Maine Lobster Expand In Canada

PORTLAND, Maine — Canadian lobstermen set up blockades at factories, and six to eight plants in Atlantic Canada stopped processing operations Tuesday amid intensifying protests demanding that the plants not accept low-priced Maine lobster.

Last week, lobstermen blocked trucks from delivering lobsters to plants in Shediac and Cap-Pele, New Brunswick. The blockades have raised fears among Maine lobster dealers that ship tens of millions of pounds to Canadian processors annually.

Fishermen on Tuesday blockaded more processing plants, claiming the low price of Maine lobster is driving down the price of Canadian lobster. By late Tuesday, four to six processors in New Brunswick and at least two in Prince Edward Island had agreed to suspend operations for at least two days, Maine Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said.

Maine lobster dealers now are scrambling to find processors elsewhere in Canada who will take their product. Dealers are having to slow down their lobster purchases from lobstermen, potentially creating even more of a glut of lobster and driving down prices even more, Keliher said.

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