The lobster boats are off and heading to a staging area outside the North Rustico harbour on the North Shore of Prince Edward Island Friday morning, waiting for the 6 a.m. start time.

According to federal fisheries rules, the boats can’t go until the appointed hour.

Setting day marks the opening of the spring lobster fishery when the traps are set. The fishermen go out the next day (if it is not a Sunday) to haul in the first landings of the season. There is usually a mad scramble at the wharves, fish markets, restaurants and stores for Islanders to get the first local lobster of the season.

It's also a tradition among the lobster fishermen on P.E.I. and is eagerly anticipated both by the fishermen and ordinary Islanders. It is akin to farmers getting back out on the land.

The wharf and breakwater of North Rustico was crowded with spectators as the boats set out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

This year was a bit unusual in that setting day was supposed to be April 29, but because of bad weather it was delayed until May 3.

Brian McInnis

Brian McInnis is a Charlottetown-based freelance photographer.

Besides CBC, he has done photo work for The Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Tourism P.E.I., City of Charlottetown, Downtown Charlottetown Inc. and many other national newspapers and magazines.

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