By Jennifer Choi
Shediac, New Brunswick (CBC/CNN) - Hundreds of lobster fishermen in Canada are reeling because their catch isn't wanted.
Several fish processing plants have purchased cheaper American lobster from Maine instead.
"Look, I'm bending the shell, there's nothing to it. It's garbage is what it is. It's garbage," said Scott Johnson, a lobster fisherman.
Johnson says he's fed up. He says processors are buying lower quality lobster from Mane at a lower price, squeezing him out of the market.
"My livelihood is on the line, everybody's livelihood is on the line. Look at everybody here, look at them all, they're not happy," he said.
"It's a betrayal, for the Acadian fisherman and the province of New Brunswick," said Maurice Martin.
The lobster season for Cape Tormentine up to Pointe-Sapaine begins in one week. In Maine, an early lobster season has created a glut in the market, and with their prices as low as $2 per pound, many fisherman say processors won't buy their catches. They say they need at least $4 per pound to break even, so they took matters into their own hands.
"It's too bad that we have to do this. We don't want to do this. But we have to to protect ourselves. We have no choice, no choice at all," said Johnson.
At Westmorland Fisheries, workers were sent home after a few hours on the job. Later in the morning the fishermen moved to the Shediac Lobster Shop. There they lashed out at the owner for having a shipment of lobster from Maine. The fishermen did their best to prevent the lobsters from going inside the plant.
"Don't feel like we have any help at all and I don't understand where's the minister of fisheries. Where is a politician," said Debbie Thompson.
The Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture says he's ready to meet, under one condition.
"We will go to the table with the representative groups, but not until they withdraw their protests," said Michael Olscamp.
Many fisherman feel like the Maritimes Fisherman's Union that represents them hasn't done enough to prevent the current situation.
"Because they had all winter to do something. Where they are in the winter," said Martin.
The fishermen say if a meeting with the minister is not successful, they vow to protest at other processors across the province.