Crusty over crustaceans: Two communities compete for world's lobster capital
Published Tuesday, March 6, 2018 7:07PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 7, 2018 11:51AM EST
The claws are out between two Maritime communities embroiled in an ever-so Canadian spat.
Shediac, N.B., and Barrington, N.S., both staunchly believe they should claim the title of lobster capital of the world. The problem: there can only be one.
In a two-part series, CTV Atlantic travelled to each city to let the communities plead their case.
Drivers entering Barrington get their first taste of the city’s lobster-mania from the highway. The city’s welcome sign includes a massive rendering of a red lobster beside a fishing vessel and a lighthouse.
The community has a solid legal case for the global title. The municipality purchased the trademark “lobster capital of Canada” 20 years ago.
Barrington also traps the country’s biggest lobster catches, according to Suzy Atwood from Barrington Tourism.
“We catch 40 per cent of all the lobsters caught in Canada, and over 20 per cent of all the lobster’s caught in North America,” Atwood said. Lobsters from Barrington are shipped as far away as Asia.
For locals, lobster is a way of life. The city is home to the most fishers, and Eddie Nickerson, warden of the municipality, said it’s simply “in their blood.”
“It’s not only men. There’s a lot of women that are fisherwomen that are doing this now, people don’t realize it and it goes right back,” he said.
Heritage plays a big role in Tyler Nickerson’s connection to the industry. His family has owned the local lobster pound since the 1970s. His favourite thing about the business is its busy nature.
“It keeps you on your toes,” he said.
Asides from the catches, lobster is a major culinary draw in Barrington. During the summer tourism season, local restaurant Captain Kat’s shells upwards of 100 lbs. (43.5 kg) of lobster per day.
“We have 14 choices of lobster on our menu,” said Della Sears, co-owner of Captain Kat’s.
As for the competition from Shediac, the community doesn’t seem too worried.
“I know there’s processors up there (in Shediac). But we did look at the catch and the landings there, and it’s not even remotely close to the landings that we have here,” Eddie Nickerson said.
For Tyler Nickerson, the proof in the catch.
“The numbers tell the tale, right? So the sheer volume landed puts us at number one, undisputedly,” he said.
Later this week, CTV Atlantic is travelling to Shediac to let the community make their case.
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau