Lobster trap tree drawing tourists to Tignish

A Christmas tree in Tignish, P.E.I., built entirely of lobster traps is proving to be a tourism draw, according to the town mayor.

Tignish built a Christmas tree out of lobster traps last year. It is meant to honour all fishermen, but it was prompted by the tragic deaths of Moe Getson and Glen DesRoches — two local fishermen who died when their boat capsized just two months earlier.

Now, people are coming from other provinces to see the unique Christmas tree, says Tignish Mayor Allan McInnis.

"There have been people from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and as far away from Ontario, as far as I understand, that come here specifically to take pictures of our lobster trap tree," he said.

McInnis said the attraction benefits restaurants, general stores and gas stations in the area, but the goal is not to make money, but to remember and honour fishermen.

Light it up

The tree was lit on Sunday and many came out to see it.

"There were people from all over the Island for sure and, you know, it was a great turnout. There were hundreds of people there, so I am very proud of what we are doing here in Tignish," he said.

The lobster trap tree is a special draw for those who have family members connected to the lobster fishery, he said.

Last year, McInnis said, a woman from Nova Scotia placed a small painted piece of wood on the tree, in the shape of a buoy with the name of a fisherman on it.

This year, the town offered small wooden buoys if people wanted to honour fishermen.

"They could take a buoy and put a member of their family name on there, whether they got lost at sea or just somebody that was a fisherman," McInnis said.

'Next hundred years'

A lot of people living in Atlantic Canada are involved in the fishing industry and he said he isn't surprised people are making the trip to the town.

"Tignish is a wonderful spot," he said.

"This lobster trap tree will continue, hopefully, for the next hundred years, and I think it will."

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