The Passage Provider is also used in the winter to lobster in the local waters, St. Mary’s Bay and the Bay of Fundy. The season in this district, District 35, begins the last Monday of November and is finished the 31st of May, giving the fishers a full six months to fish for lobster.
Each licence is allowed to fish 375 traps in the fall and after March 1, then the allowance is increased to 400. There are no limits on how many pounds each boat is allowed to catch but there is a size limit. Each lobster must be 82 millimetres from the tip of the nose to the end of the head section. Boats carry a steel measure aboard and when the Captain is unsure each lobster is measured individually.
Years ago each trap was fished with a line and buoy. Not so today. Traps are fished on a trawl, a long rope with a buoy on both ends. Traps are then hooked on this line by another rope so that they can touch the bottom.
Catches are usually highest at the beginning of the season and then the number fall from there.Yearly catches are usually between 30,000 and 50,000 pounds but in exceptional years can be as large as 80,000 pounds and up. The price is always set on the opening week of lobster season and depends on the amount and quality of the catch.