Lobster summit kicks off in Halifax

Tribune-Post Staff
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HALIFAX, N.S. – A lobster summit is being held today and tomorrow (Mar. 26-27) in Halifax.

Hosted by the three Maritime fisheries ministers – including Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp – the Canadian Lobster Value Recovery Summit will bring together more than 200 fishers, processors and industry experts to discuss recommendations outlined in the Maritime Lobster Panel report.

"The work and discussions that resulted in the report have brought the fishing industry to a turning point," said Olscamp. "The discussions and decisions taken during the next two days will be critical to charting the course into the future."

The Lobster Council of Canada is organizing the summit with funding from the three provinces and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which is providing $40,000 in support of the event.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to support industry efforts that maximize the economic value, improve international competitiveness and ensure sustainability of Canadian fisheries with support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada,” said federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea. “I look forward to meeting with my provincial counterparts and industry members to discuss the department's role in response to the Maritime Lobster Panel report, and I am committed to working under the leadership of industry and with the support of the provinces to advancing the lobster fishery."

Geoff Irvine, executive director of the council, said the summit is an opportunity to discuss the recommendations from the Value Recovery Strategy that, if implemented, will encourage growth in the sector.

The four recommendations are:

– to establish an independent Maritime lobster intelligence institute;

– to develop a comprehensive generic marketing and promotion campaign;

– to discuss price-setting mechanisms; and

– to establish a process for an industry levy.

"It is important that we as a lobster sector give legislators in each province clear direction on what we want them to do in support of our industry," said Irvine. "We must tell them that a regional approach is the best way to strengthening the lobster sector in Canada."

Participants will also hear from stakeholders who will provide their insight on the changes needed to stabilize the Canadian lobster industry.

The keynote speaker is Egil Ove Sundheim of the Norwegian Seafood Council. He will explain how generic marketing has made Norway one of the strongest seafood export countries in the world.

The mission of the Lobster Council of Canada is to increase the overall value of and demand for Canadian lobster. Established in 2009, it brings together Canadian lobster industry stakeholders, including harvesters, live shippers, processors, First Nations and provincial and federal governments, to work on projects of mutual benefit.

LINKS:

Maritime Lobster Panel report

Review of the 2007 Atlantic Lobster Summit report

Organizations: Maritime Lobster Panel, The Lobster Council of Canada, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Canadian Lobster Value Recovery Summit Fisheries and Oceans Canada Norwegian Seafood Council First Nations Atlantic Lobster Summit

Geographic location: Halifax, Maritime, Canada Norway

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