National Fisherman's Melissa Wood shares her stories as a writer and editor covering the U.S. fishing industry.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Often news from Canada doesn't make it across the border. If you haven't heard, three lobstermen from Cape Breton have been charged with the murder of a man suspected of stealing lobsters from their traps.
Though his body has not yet been recovered, divers continue to search for Phillip Boudreau whose overturned motorboat was found near the harbor entrance of Petit-de-Grat on June 1. The Canadian Broadcasting Co. reports the hull contained bullet holes and evidence that it had been rammed by a larger boat.
A source told the CBC that investigators believe the Twin Maggies crew caught Boudreau cutting their lobster traps the day he disappeared. Police have seized the Twin Maggies and charged crew members James Joseph Landry, Dwayne Matthew Samson and Craig Landry with second-degree murder.
The story's posting on Canadian Atlantic Lobster's Facebook page has mostly drawn comments about the senselessness of a man losing his life over lobsters. A couple commenters, however, are sympathetic to the lobstermen charged with Boudreau's death, while others blame low prices and government regulations for creating desperation among lobstermen.
Nobody should die over lobster. I agree with Lindsay M Labour, who commented that if the crew had spotted him poaching lobster, they should have taken video and given it to the authorities.
Lobster wars aren't new, but video cameras are everywhere now. Her comment reminded me of a story I read a couple of months ago about the prevalence of dashboard cameras in cars in Russia. Many motorists have them because the video is the only protection they have against widespread lawlessness on the road and police officers who accept bribes to lie in court.
Could a camera have made a difference in this case? I don't know. Sadly, the only thing we know for sure at this point is that a man is missing and probably dead, and the lives of all involved will never be the same.
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