Lobster season in northeastern New Brunswick began early Sunday.
Scores of boats took to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in fishing communities along the Acadian Peninsula from Petit-Shippagan to Grande-Anse.
Boats left 10 minutes before the scheduled 6 a.m. departure time.
No officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were on hand because of the ongoing public sector strike.
The season should have opened for all of the Zone 23 fishing area that stretches along the coast from Campbellton to south of Miramichi. But strong winds kept boats tied up at wharfs in some communities, including Restigouche, Tracadie, Neguac and Escuminac.
The season is tentatively set to start Wednesday in those areas, but DFO and the Maritime Fishermen's Union will have a conference call Monday to confirm.
Even Sunday's start was late compared to other lobster season starts in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and the Gaspé, where some boats headed out as early as last Wednesday.
This marks the first lobster season for the region since post-tropical storm Fiona battered the east coast of New Brunswick last September.
Lobster season in Zone 25 — the Northumberland Strait area — won't start until the summer.