Lobster War is an award-winning feature documentary about the conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea, known as the Gray Zone, were traditionally fished by U.S. lobstermen. But as the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than nearly any other body of water on the planet, the Gray Zone’s previously modest lobster population has surged, and with it, discord which threatens to shatter the tranquility between the neighbors. Both countries now allow their lobstermen to fish there, though each claims exclusive ownership of the waters. As a result, Canadians have begun to assert their sovereignty in the area, fighting with the Americans to claim the bounty.
There have been death threats on both sides of the watery divide, as lobstermen accuse each other of sabotaging lines, stealing gear, and setting traps atop those already in the water. The U.S. and Canada may have shared the world’s longest peaceful border for centuries, but they’ve also shared a deep conflict over the Gray Zone’s disputed, increasingly lucrative waters. “This is a ticking time bomb out here,” says Brian Cates of Cutler, Maine, who has been fishing the contested waters near the Bay of Fundy since he was 9 years old. “It’s just a matter of time before someone gets killed.”
Presented as part of our ongoing Environmental Film Series, through the partnership of the Havre de Grace Green Team and Havre de Grace Maritime Museum. All film screenings are free to the public, and are held inside the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum’s main gallery. A discussion will follow the film.