Shediac — People in the town of Shediac are reporting that a significant number of lobsters have been leaving the ocean and making their way into the popular beach community, causing growing concern for those in the area.
“They’re everywhere,” said local man Patrick Bouchard. “You can’t walk a block without having to step around half a dozen of the things.”
The large crustaceans have been spotted in parks, on roads and walkways, and in even inside the town’s homes and businesses.
“I was barbecuing and left the screen door open for 2, maybe 3 minutes when I went to the washroom,” said Shawn Gallant, whose home is located over a mile from the water. “I heard this awful yelp and when I came out I saw a couple of lobsters crawling around on my kitchen floor. One of them apparently nipped my 3-month-old golden retriever on the snout.”
Margaret Dorion, who runs a small bakery in the town, fears the invasive creatures could harm tourism in the area. “They’re like angry pigeons with claws, and they don’t get out of the way either,” she said. “It can’t be good for business.” Adding: “As it is now, anyone coming to visit here should just leave their sandals and flip-flops at home.”
The overwhelming presence of the bottom-feeding creatures has been causing problems for motorists in the area as well. “I’ve gotten 2 flat tires now,” said Paulette Jean, citing the broken shells of the animals – which litter nearly every street – as cause. “They’re like smelly glass.”
Mike Richard, who has worked with animal control in the town for more than 18 years, said they’re still working on the problem. “We don’t usually work with sea life, so it’s taking some time to figure out a solution. We’ve tried rounding some of them up and throwing them off the pier, but they just keep crawling right back out of the water again.”
Mayor Jacques LeBlanc said he has already reached out to the premier to discuss putting a cull on the lobsters. “We should be getting a response soon,” he said. The mayor also indicated that he’s looking into employing some of the town’s snow blowers to clear the streets of the bothersome arthropods and their debris. For now, town officials are advising the public to refrain from leaving out any salty bloated meats, or any other form of decaying ocean life that may be attracting the crustaceans.