Deal reached in N.B. lobster protest

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A protest over cheap American lobsters seen to be driving down prices in New Brunswick ended when the provincial government and processing plants came to an agreement.

The tentative deal was reached Aug. 10. Most of the fishermen involved in the conflict had approved the deal on Aug. 11, according to the Maritime Fishermen’s Union.

Prior to the deal, and as tensions had mounted over lobster prices, fishermen in the province had staged demonstrations at processing plants in Shediac and Cap-Pele. Trucks carrying lobster from Maine were blocked delivery access to processors.

Early on in the showdown processors had said they were willing to pay a minimum of $2.50 per pound for processed lobster and $3 for live market lobster. The union said fishermen needed at least $4 per pound for processed and live market, and that was just to break even.

Through the deal reached, the union said processors agreed to pay an additional 25 cents per lobster, to be matched by the union. This would bring the price of processed lobster up to $3 per pound with the price for live market lobster at $3.50.

The province has pledged to extend an $11-million loan program for another three years as part of the agreement.

During the protests province had rejected calls for financial compensation to fishermen. Late last week a judge had granted an injunction to nine processing plants so their business could resume.

Geographic location: N.B., New Brunswick, Maritime Fishermen Shediac Maine

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