A Messy Way to Win Hearts & Minds

I’m going to tell you a story I heard. I wasn’t there and I have to filter out all the swearing that came with the tale to try and provide a concise retelling. Again, I’m getting this second/third hand. Two pretty bad images of an eagle are included just because he was there for much of the conversation as it was yelled over a phone. 🙂

There are a lot of boats out on the water trying to catch enough lobsters to make each trip at least pay for itself and, if they’re lucky, cover the loan payments.

Traps are set in groups of 20 or 25 (it varies), attached to each other by rope, and located with buoys floating at one end of the set. The last I heard each of those traps cost about $400.

Yesterday boats (primarily from Grand Manan I think) were hauling and resetting traps off a group of rocks known as the Wolves. About the same time a big barge, carrying a “sh*t load” of feed came through from Nova Scotia heading for a salmon farm in the area.

This barge had (has?) a belly chain hanging below it – a big one according to the story, dangling down as it was moving through the water.

This area off the Wolves (and much of various parts of the Bay) is full of traps. That barge with its chain managed to catch a lot of ropes attached to a great many traps.

This, not surprisingly, upset the fishermen. They tried to contact the barge by radio but it (for whatever reason) did not reply. The lobster boats started circling the barge to get its attention – it didn’t stop.

So what to do? The ropes and traps caught by the chain were obviously an issue for the barge as well and another boat in the area (not one of the ones fishing) had a really bright? idea. The Captain shouted over the radio to “get out your knives boys, cut those ropes loose”.

That particular Captain does a lot of work for the company operating these salmon farms. In his rare free moments he’s the one who is supposed to be removing the nets from the Cove here but I won’t whine about that today. 🙂

So, to summarize the story being shouted from one end of the Bay to the other:

  • A large salmon barge travelled through a densely packed lobster fishing area.
  • It was dragging a big chain under it.
  • The chain caught a lot of ropes, each of which was attached to approximately $8000 worth of traps with vital catches inside (at least that’s the hope).
  • Instead of stopping, the barge cut the ropes to free itself – sending traps to the bottom of the Bay with no marking buoys.
  • There are some pissed off fishermen.

Again, I’m just relaying a tale being spread this morning. However, fishing is a hard and expensive way to make a living. This sort of thing doesn’t help.

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