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Posts Tagged ‘lobsters’

Beyond Nova Scotia’s ocean shore lies the world of inner space.  This marvelous world is seen by few except divers, who brave our cold waters for just a glimpse of its wildlife inhabitants.  The rest of us only see evidence of undersea life when it is washed ashore or edible forms appear on our dinnerplate.  Yet, how far these experiences remove us from the pulse of life beneath the surface of the waves.

The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish.

~ Jacques Cousteau

The spiny sculpin, shown at top, is an odd-looking fish that can survive out of water for hours at a time as long as it stays wet.  Another bottom dweller is the flounder shown below.  Amazingly, one of the flounder’s eyes gradually drifts from one side of its body to the other.  The body of the fish eventually turns on its side, where both of its eyes come to rest on ‘top.’ 

 

Crustaceans, such as this spider crab, are also found on the sea floor, scavenging for food.

Hermit crabs search the sea floor for empty shells that they may use to protect their vulnerable bodies from predators.  They don’t possess the hard exoskeleton common to most true crabs.

The seafood section in Nova Scotia’s grocery stores often hold live lobsters in a tank.  The trapped  lobster, shown above, seems destined for such a place.  Like many crustaceans, it possesses the magical ability to regrow its asymmetrical claws.

Among the most attractive creatures to be found off our coasts are the carnivorous sea anemones, which look deceptively like plants.  

 

Many thanks to Wayne Joy and my son Simon Bell for granting permission to share these beautiful photos taken on a recent dive.  Both Wayne and Simon are members of the Shearwater Scuba Club.

Images copyright Wayne T. Joy / Simon Bell.

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A Lobster Trap Washed Ashore at Silver Sands Beach

Single or stacked, lobster traps are a common sight in Nova Scotia.  They can be found in boats, stacked on wharves or in residential driveways.  I’ve often seen them sitting bashed up on the seashore or sometimes in the woods.  A few homeowners use them as yard decorations.  They are a frequent reminder of the lobster industry in Nova Scotia, a sector that is suffering these days due to low prices at the market.  Stocks are full and demand is low. 

lobsterOne result of the current recession (or depression, depending on your personal situation) is that people are buying fewer luxury items.  Unfortunately for lobster fishermen, their catch is considered in that category.  But lobsters weren’t always considered a luxury item on the menu.

Along with crabs, lobsters are known as ‘bottom feeders,’ animals that survive by consuming the worst of what’s sitting on the ocean floor.  Prior to the mid 1800s, eating lobster was considered a mark of poverty in North America.  Muslims and Jews have also always refrained from its consumption for religious reasons.

These days, if you do love to eat lobster, it can be purchased for a price comparable to that of baloney at the supermarket.  I haven’t seen lobster prices that low at Sobey’s since the 1980s.

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