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Canada

Southeastern N.B. community kicks off lobster season with weekend celebration

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For the past five years the village of Alma and its surrounding southeastern New Brunswick communities have celebrated the beginning of the local lobster fishing season, and this year was no different.

On Sunday, communities celebrated through a weekend long event that included a beer garden, the so-called Lobster Plunge and a farmers market.

READ MORE: Canadian lobster exports to China soar as U.S. sales plunge amid tariffs

The event also included a brief dip into the cool 13 degree waters of the Bay of Fundy as a way to raise money for a nearby playground project, which was created by Alma mayor Kirsten Shortt.

Shortt says the entire weekend festival is a way of expressing the industry’s importance to the region.

“It is one of our main sources of income and attractions of course,” she said. “This is our sixth fleet launch and it’s been growing every year so it’s a good way to celebrate our fishermen and our fishers.”

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READ MORE: N.B. baby rides ‘rare’ gigantic lobster on lucky Canada Day catch

But Shortt acknowledges that the fishing industry can also be a dangerous business.

“We know ourselves the last hurricane we just had what kind of weather conditions we sometimes have to deal with,” Shortt said. “Sometimes…if a fisherman gets stuck in weather…it’s a very scary experience.”

Organizers say it’s a big community win. “We’ve had people come in from Nova Scotia…even people internationally have come in,” said Chris Buck of Foods of the Fundy Valley.

READ MORE: Last of four men sentenced in connection with million-dollar lobster theft in 2016: N.B. RCMP

“The accommodations are sold out in the (Fundy) National Park and for all the businesses here so it really does generate a lot of revenue for everyone,” Buck added.

According to the organizers, celebrations will culminate at 12:01 Monday morning with the launch of the fleet and a fireworks display

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