Image: Wikimedia Commons.
Lobstermen are a brutish breed; I say this only because I grew up amongst them. Even at 12 and 13 years of age while fishing in my small skiff, Blues Dory, I had horrific confrontations with them. Guns were drawn, expletives were shouted. All at a young boy quietly fishing in his little open skiff.
Above: The American, true, northern, or Maine lobster (Homarus americanus), depending on whom you ask. Others just call it Maritime gold. Photo: Santa Barbara Fish Market.
It’s a precious commodity those men spend their lives chasing, and they’ll guard their traps and their catch to the bitter end.
Above: Machias Seal Rock, one of two disputed islands between the Gulf of Maine (USA) and New Brunswick (CA), upon which only Canada has staked its flag. Photo: Fred J. Field/CP.
A pair of islands in what is called “the gray area” between the United States and Canada are more or less barren, arid low-lying protrusions from the sea–rocks, really. One, called North Rock, is home to a gray seal colony. The other, Machias Seal Rock, is a puffin sanctuary and Canada’s (or so they claim) last manned lighthouse. It’s also only .1 square kilometers and uninhabitable, for all intents and purposes. So why has a battle between The United States and Canada continued to quietly ensue since, well, The American Revolution?