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Thursday, October 20th 2016 - Lobster Fishery Statement

Lobster Fishery

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: Honourable senators, as the fall lobster season ended last week for fishermen in my community, I want to share with you that it has been a very good season for our lobster fishermen. After years of having a difficult price, where it was hard for them to make ends meet, they have had a better price from the market — double compared to the past years. More importantly, there weren't any major accidents on the water except one crew being saved by another boat. Overall, this was probably the most successful season in the past 10 years.

As much as the season was a success from an economic point of view, one of the rarest catches ever made clearly stole the show. A fisherman by the name of Eugène Richard of Richibucto-Village probably won the lobster lottery. On a beautiful, sunny morning, to his disbelief, he found a white lobster. After 50 years of fishing lobster, Mr. Richard had never come across such a lobster. It was so white that you could see the blue veins. That's why Mr. Richard and his wife Bernice nicknamed it the ghost lobster.

What are the odds of finding such a lobster? One in a 100 million was his chance of finding a white lobster. Just to give a measuring stick, you have 1 in 20 million chances to be canonized as a saint. So Mr. Richard had more chances to be a saint than of catching an albino lobster. But rest assured, honourable senators, the ghost lobster has been donated to the Marine Centre in Shippagan for further study and will help us better understand the very rare albino phenomenon.

It goes to show, honourable senators, that even in 2016, the ocean and our environment as a whole still has some surprises in store for us. As for Mr. Richard, he started fishing lobster at the tender age of 14 and now, 50 years later at 64 years old, he is nearing his retirement. Is there a better way to end a 50-year career of fishing lobster than finding the holy grail of lobster? I think not, honourable senators. Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

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