The fall lobster season in Lobster Fishing Area 25 opens tomorrow, Friday, as scheduled.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans made that determination this morning after an hour-long conference call with port representatives on both sides of Northumberland Strait.
The decision does not sit well with all fishermen on the call. Lee Knox, who was representing Skinners Pond fishermen, said the northerly wind in the forecast, will have a more adverse affect on northerly ports in New Brunswick and P.E.I., such as from Howard's Cove to North Cape on the P.E.I. side. He acknowledges the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' final decision to leave the opening date alone, goes with the majority of the fishermen on the line, but he believes the ports that wanted to leave the opening until Monday account for about two thirds of the lobster fishermen in the LFA.
DFO's decision was also based on information from an Environment Canada official who indicated the forecast calls for light winds on Friday. Knox said the inland forecast is calling for higher winds than in the strait and the wind at North Cape during the conference call Thursday was already blowing 27 km/hour with gusts to 45.
With the decision made, fishermen are busy today making final preparations for setting their gear on Friday. Boats will be able to sail out of ports on both sides of the strait at 6 a.m.
"Everybody is loading up and hoping Environment Canada is right," Knox commented.