STRAIT AREA: Although the season starts at altering times in different Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs), the lobster fishery and all of its major players in the region are preparing for its return.

Off Richmond and Guysborough counties are LFAs 28, 29, 30, 31A, and 31B, while LFAs 26A and 26B cover the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, off Antigonish and Inverness counties.

Christine Babin, executive director with the Richmond County Inshore Fishermen’s Association (RCIFA), said the season is scheduled to start on April 30 for LFA 28, located in the Bras d’Or Lake, and LFA 29, which includes waters off Richmond County.

“That would be our dumping day, weather depending; if it calls for bad weather we could start up to two days earlier or after,” Babin told The Reporter. “Dumping Day or Setting Day is the day before the actual season opens, but they can’t haul their traps – it’s an important part of Richmond County.”

The season in LFAs 26A, 26B, will get underway in May and run until the end of June.

Each license holder within the local LFAs can set 250 traps.

Currently, Babin said she expects the price of lobster to open around $7-$8 per pound, but noted once the season officially opens, supply or demand could impact the market price for lobster.

“And that’s on par with what the price has been the past couple of years,” she said. “Last year, we had a good season, the catches were down in the South Shore area, so we don’t know what to expect until they kind of stat hauling, but I don’t expect a big decrease.”

As is the case in previous years, Babin indicated the number of licence holders within Richmond County, 54, has not changed.

With a minimal amount, if not no ice remaining in the waters, the start to the season is looking like a positive one.

“We hope everyone has a safe season and hopefully the catches are good and the price is good,” Babin said. “The price of everything has gone up, wages are going up, fuel, insurances, the cost is up so we just hope the price stays at a rate that it makes it profitable for the fishers.”