N.S. fishing villages abuzz with speculation over theft of premium lobster

CAPE SABLE ISLAND, N.S. -- Small fishing villages along Nova Scotia's southern shore are buzzing over a whodunit involving 48 crates of pricey, premium-grade lobster that were hauled out of an ocean-based pen in a brazen night-time heist.

See Full Article

Theories are swirling among fishermen and residents around Cape Sable Island about how someone made off with dozens of heavy plastic crates that were packed with high-grade lobsters valued at up to $31,000.

"Everybody's talking about it," said RCMP Cpl. Mike O'Callaghan, who has been investigating the unusual caper since the company holding the crustaceans noticed they were gone last week.

"Things go missing in small amounts, but this was a big hit -- it's definitely different. People are trying to figure it out themselves and they're asking how we're doing and if we caught them yet."

Police say more than 2,100 kilograms of lobster were stolen from the outdoor pound at a business on the island, known as the lobster capital of the province and famed for its Cape Sable Island fishing boats.

O'Callaghan said the shoreline pen has high banks and is loaded with 45-kilogram crates of lobster, making it unlikely that whoever took the lobster was working alone.

Because of rough seas last Tuesday night and the size of the theft, police believe the crates weren't taken by boat and were likely loaded onto a large truck by several people.

O'Callaghan said they had reviewed security camera footage from the site, but it hadn't yielded any clues. He said he is also interviewing employees at the company, which he wouldn't name. He would only say the lobster had been graded and were all high-quality, with each weighing around one kilogram.

Hubert Saulnier, a lobster fisherman in the area, says whoever took the lobsters likely had arranged a buyer and had a plan in place to off-load them since they need to be submerged in water or refrigerated if they are being transported elsewhere.

"With that many lobsters, I'm sure they had a market set up," he said from Saulnierville, N.S. "They had to have some kind of buyer who was willing to take the whole shebang. It's a live product and it's supposed to be kept in water. It's not like a bag of potatoes."

Judith Maxwell of the Scotia Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association said people are eager to know what happened, with some speculating that the lobsters could have gone out of the province or are in a holding facility waiting to be sold when attention around the case dies down.

"They would be hot, same as if we were buying watches off the street!" she said from her office on the island. "They've certainly gone to the black market."

The theft followed a similar incident last month, when 14 crates of lobster were stolen from a secure compound on Morris Island near Yarmouth, which is about an hour away.

O'Callaghan doesn't believe the cases are related.

But he says there is little tolerance for theft in the area's age-old fishing community, a vital part of Atlantic Canada's billion-dollar lobster fishing industry.

"People would be very disappointed and upset with that person," he said. "There's sort of that unwritten rule that you don't fool around with that stuff especially stealing from fishermen because you're really stealing from everyone."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Syrian civil war heats up as U.S. denounces alleged use of chemical weapons

    World News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today newsletter, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. TODAY:Allegations of a chemical weapons attack by Syria's government spark international demands for investigation. Source
  • Jury finds Vermont man guilty of murder in wrong-way crash that killed 5 teens

    World News CTV News
    BURLINGTON, Vt. -- A jury found a Vermont man guilty of murder charges in the deaths of five teenagers Wednesday caused when he drove the wrong way on an interstate highway. The jury returned the verdict in the case of Steven Bourgoin on its second day of deliberations following a two-week trial in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington. Source
  • China's Xi Jinping tells his country to get ready for hard times in trade war

    World News CBC News
    China must prepare for difficult times as the international situation is increasingly complex, President Xi Jinping said in comments carried by state media on Wednesday, as the country faces increased tariffs in a bitter trade war with Washington. Source
  • Man graduates from university where he was once a janitor

    World News CTV News
    A newly-qualified nurse who graduated from the same university where he used to work as a janitor hopes others are inspired by his story of hard work and perseverance. Frank Baez started cleaning patient rooms, bathrooms and hallways at New York University's Langone Tisch Hospital on weekends as a 17-year-old high school student. Source
  • Niagara officer shot by fellow cop now facing criminal charges

    Canada News CBC News
    The Niagara regional police officer allegedly shot and seriously wounded by a fellow officer has himself been charged in connection with the incident. My brother's a 'monster,' man says of Niagara policeman shot by fellow officer Niagara officer charged with attempted murder in shooting of fellow officer Source
  • Top soldier acknowledges handling of Afghan memorial 'hit a nerve;' vows access

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canada's top soldier acknowledges that last week's unveiling of the Kandahar memorial without the families of dead soldiers present hit a nerve. Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, tells The Canadian Press no insult or disrespect was intended. Source
  • Cyril Ramaphosa elected by South Africa's parliament, promises to tackle corruption

    World News CBC News
    South African president-elect Cyril Ramaphosa took steps Wednesday to crack down on corruption as the new parliament votes him to lead the country for a five-year term. South Africa's lawmakers were sworn into the legislative body in Cape Town following elections earlier this month in which Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress party won a 57.5 per cent majority. Source
  • Winds shift as High Level, Alta., wildfire jumps in size

    Canada News CTV News
    Crews battling a massive wildfire near High Level, Alta., may be able to make some progress against the blaze Wednesday thanks to a slight shift in winds, officials say. Despite hot and dry conditions plaguing the region, a shift in winds out of the southeast is pushing the blaze away from the High Level community, allowing firefighters to attack the blaze. Source
  • New mortgage loans slowed in Canada but overall value is still rising, says CMHC

    Canada News CBC News
    The number of mortgage loans in Canada grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter as housing activity cooled, according to a new report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, but the value of all mortgages is still rising. Source
  • Marineland confirms walrus death, two deer killed in opening day stampede

    Canada News CTV News
    Controversial Canadian waterpark Marineland has announced the death of one of its walruses, days after “demonstrators” were blamed for causing a stampede that led to the deaths of two deer. The tourist attraction in Niagara Falls, Ont. Source