Fishing vessel sinks as lucrative lobster season opens off Nova Scotia

A fishing vessel sank Saturday as Canada's largest and most lucrative lobster fisheries opened off Nova Scotia.

Fisheries Department spokeswoman Debbie Buott-Matheson confirmed it was a lobster fishing vessel that sank in Hackett's Cove, roughly 45 kilometres southwest of downtown Halifax.

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre spokeswoman Maj. Amber Bineau says the vessel's four crew members were wearing life jackets and they were rescued by a nearby fishing vessel.

Hackett's Cove is part of Lobster Fishing Area 33, which extends from Halifax to the southwestern tip of the province.

That fishery opened at about 7 a.m. Saturday, while Lobster Fishing Area 34, which includes roughly 970 boats that work the waters off the province's western edge, started dumping traps at about 6 a.m.

Meanwhile, the rescue centre says they towed a disabled fishing vessel to Clark's Harbour, N.S., after it began taking on water and its engine failed.

Lobster was the province's top seafood export in 2017 at $947 million.

The season was supposed to start Monday, but industry associations that represent about 6,000 fishermen called for a delay because the forecast was calling for rain, snow and strong winds throughout the week.