The New Yorker:

How Indigenous fishermen are defending their rights—and corporate profits—in the most lucrative fishery in North America.

By Abe Streep

At the River Café, the Michelin-recommended restaurant on the Brooklyn waterfront where the term “free-range chicken” was coined, the lobster is served butter-poached next to a pool of lemon-grape sauce, to brighten its tender brininess. The chef, Brad Steelman, insists on lobster from the cold waters of Nova Scotia, because this insures a hard shell and robust meat. “Hard-shell will always be stronger, more durable, livelier, and last longer,” he said. Across the river, in Manhattan, Michael Coury, the executive concept chef at the Palm, prefers the taste. “It’s luscious,” he told me. “Great minerality.”

Not so long ago, good lobster could be found closer to the city. Historically, there were strong harvests as far south as New Jersey. But, in the past thirty years, global warming has pushed lobster populations to cooler seas. As the industries in Long Island and Massachusetts collapsed, the waters around Nova Scotia became the most productive lobster breeding grounds on Earth. For Canadian fishermen, the boom has been lucrative: since the mid-nineties, the harvest has more than doubled, to ninety-eight thousand metric tons a year, and global demand has surged. Canada now catches about one and a half billion dollars’ worth of lobster a year, roughly triple America’s output.

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