NEWS

Lobster fishermen's dispute prompts RCMP involvement

05/03/2012 10:18 EDT | Updated 07/03/2012 05:12 EDT

The RCMP has been asked to mediate a dispute among Nova Scotia lobster fishermen that appears to be turning violent.

A group called 1688 wants fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia to stay in port to reduce the supply of lobster. However, many people are defying the boycott.

There are reports of violence at some wharfs from Yarmouth to Cape Sable Island.

"There were some things that went on that definitely shouldn't have gone on," Steven Goreham, with 1688, told Radio-Canada on Thursday morning. "We will not tolerate any more of that."

Goreham said bullies would be kicked out of the group.

Ashton Spinney, chair of the LFA 34 management board, said some fishermen who defied the boycott are afraid to return to port.

He wouldn't say what's been happening at the wharfs, but described it as "the most volatile situation I've seen in my lifetime."

Goreham said his group has asked the RCMP to take part in a meeting with Spinney's organization. A meeting is planned for Thursday afternoon in Yarmouth.

The CBC's call to the RCMP has not been returned.

The group 1688 — named after the number of licences in zones 33 and 34 — wants fishermen to stay in port until they're guaranteed a price of $5.50 a pound, about $1 more than they expect to get.

Hundreds of boats were tied up Monday when the boycott began. By Tuesday, however, more fishermen were heading out.

Meanwhile, lobster fishermen in western Cape Breton and the North Shore started their season this week.

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