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Canadian lobster processing plants reopen after injunction ordered

Stephen MacGillivray | The Daily Gleaner
Stephen MacGillivray | The Daily Gleaner
A New Brunswick Lobster fisherman puts up a protest sign on the office of federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield in Fredericton on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. Canadian fishermen are protesting the sale of cheap Maine lobster to processors in the province.
The Associated Press

MONCTON, New Brunswick — Lobster processing plants in New Brunswick resumed full operations Friday, a day after a judge ordered an injunction to prevent fishermen from blocking access in an ongoing dispute over the import of low-priced U.S. lobsters.

Ronald LeBlanc, the lawyer representing the nine processing plants that applied for the injunction, said no demonstrations have been reported outside the plants since the 10-day injunction was granted Thursday.

LeBlanc said he hopes negotiations will resolve the dispute but added that the processors have not ruled out asking for another injunction if necessary.

“It’s certainly not off the table,” he said. “It all depends on how the discussions go with the union and the fishermen and how everybody behaves.”

Tensions over lobster prices boiled over last week, when provincial fishermen held demonstrations in Cap-Pele and Shediac, and trucks were blocked from delivering Maine lobsters to three processors.

On Wednesday, they staged a protest outside the Fredericton office of federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, where some of them dumped their lobster traps.

Some officials with the Maritime Fishermen’s Union met Friday with Ashfield. A spokeswoman for the minister said they discussed industry-led resolutions and strategies aimed at preventing similar disputes in the future, but she declined to release further details.

Calls to the union were not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

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