We recently did a mini-documentary about the lobster conservation and study efforts being undertaken off the east coast of Newfoundland in the area of the Eastport Peninsula. The study takes place in the Eastport Marine Protected area (or EMPA ) and is a joint project between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Eastport Lobster Protection Committee.
We went up for 5 days in total over two trips, with the first trip being to scout locations and take aerial drone footage of the area, and the second trip we went out on the boat with members of DFO to film lobster harvesters at work and get more aerial footage from out on the ocean.
On that second trip we met the mayor of Salvage and his wife, who were also the lobster harvesting couple we had the pleasure of filming for the documentary.
This husband and wife team are lobster harvesters based out of Salvage Newfoundland and are members of the Eastport Lobster Protection Committee. Besides their regular commercial fishing duties, they conduct lobster tagging within the boundaries of the Easport Marine Protected Area and report their findings to DFO.
The DFO’s role in the program is to provide technical support, policing , and provide scientific study of data collected in the marine protected area.
This joint effort was initiated by local area harvesters after an increase in lobster harvesting as a result of the cod fishery closing. Those who made their living from lobster quickly noticed a decline in lobster stocks as a result of over fishing, and approached the federal government for help. In this way the Eastport marine Protected Area was created and a program of science and conservation was begun.
We had a great time doing this project and hope to do another again soon.