Swedish lobster season underway
The Swedish lobster hunting season began at 7am today. Hundreds of fishermen boats along Sweden's west coast set-off to catch the sea's so-called "black gold." The Board of Fisheries says it is difficult to estimate how many lobsters are actually caught in this country every year, since not all fishermen file reports, and some put out more traps than are allowed.
In 2003, stricter laws were introduced to stop a decline in the lobster population. Individuals are limited to 14 pots per-person compared to the previous forty, and young lobster catch must be thrown back into the sea. In recent years, there has been a growth in organised lobster safaris for tourists keen on catching some "black gold."
Professional lobster fisherman Martin Olofsson runs a lobster safari for guests at the Smögen Hafsbad hotel. He told Radio Sweden that it was quite a sight at sea before 7 this morning.
"There were 70 to 80 boats around the island (smögen) full of lobster pots, all ready for 7am," he says to Radio Sweden.
The Swedish coastguard has issued a safety message to those inexperienced fishermen hunting lobster asking everyone to wear life jackets and carry a mobile phone.
On Tuesday, the first lobster catch will be auctioned off.