It has to rank among the most delicious trade wars ever.
But the feud between New Brunswick fishermen and their Maine counterparts over bargain-priced American lobster is pretty serious.
Canadian lobstermen, upset that Canadian plants are processing high volumes of the American-caught crustaceans, which has driven down prices, set up a protest outside the office of federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield in Fredericton, N.B., The Canadian Press reported.
Last week they staged protests outside three New Brunswick plants to prevent trucks from delivering Maine lobsters, sending U.S. suppliers scrambling for places to process them.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he's working with Canadian officials to resolve the dispute, The Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, about 200 fishermen blockaded a processing plant in Neguac, N.B., on Tuesday, according to CBC News.
Maine's lobster season normally opens a little earlier than on the Canadian East Coast and Canadian processors annually process millions of pounds of American lobster each year, The Associated Press noted.
But the problem this year has been a larger catch on the Maine side, reducing landed prices to $2 a pound.
New Brunswick Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp last week offered to provide compensation to Canadian lobstermen in an effort to curtail the plant blockades. It would have paid $2.50 a pound for lobster being processed and $3 a pound for lobster sold for the live market.
But the deal was rejected by fishermen, who said they need at least $4 a pound to survive, CBC News reported.
"I thought maybe that offer would provide the opportunity to open more doors," Olscamp responded. "And as a result of it being refused, I'm disappointed to say the least, yes."
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said there's no reason to bail out fishermen. They have a fair issue in protesting the low-priced Maine lobster, said Kevin Lacey, the federation's Atlantic director, but that's no reason to subsidize them.
"The province has undergone a very difficult last two years," he told CBC News. "Taxpayers in the province have suffered under a high inflation and low wage growth. And many businesses have suffered in this economy.
"And it sets a bad precedent that now, the province is looking to bail out lobster fishermen when so many others are suffering."
Olscamp appeared to agree, saying it would set a dangerous precedent for other fisheries to offer lobstermen a "top-out" payment to bring the price up to $4 a pound.
The minister urged fishermen to think twice about disrupting work at processing plant and said he hoped authorities would take action to deal with any problems, CBC News said.
The consequences of the protest have rippled into Canada-U.S. relations. The blockades have been widely reported in American media and The Associated Press reported Maine Senator Susan Collins contact David Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, to express her concern.
Retail prices for lobster have fallen in Maine because of the glut but it's not clear whether Canadians also will be able to buy the delicacy at bargain prices.