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Lobster Summit Kicks Off in Halifax

An historic lobster summit will be held March 26-27 in Halifax.

Hosted by the three Maritime fisheries ministers, the Canadian Lobster Value Recovery Summit will bring together more than 200 fishermen, processors and industry experts to discuss the four key recommendations outlined in the Maritime Lobster Panel report released last Fall.

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

“It is critical that the lobster industry provide me and my fellow Maritime fisheries ministers with input to help determine the plan for adopting key aspects of the Maritime Lobster Panel report,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. “I urge the industry to step forward and help us move the lobster industry into a new, brighter and sustainable future.”

“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 Minister of Fisheries and Oceans 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 am committed to working under the leadership of industry and with the support of the provinces to advancing the lobster fishery.”

Lobster council executive director Geoff Irvine said the summit is an excellent opportunity for all industry partners to discuss the key recommendations from the value recovery strategy that, if implemented, will encourage growth.

The four recommendations to be discussed are:
— establishing an independent Maritime Lobster Intelligence Institute
— developing a comprehensive generic marketing and promotion campaign
— discussing price-setting mechanisms
— establishing a process for an industry levy

“Our plans for this conference include bringing together Canadian lobster industry representatives and subject matter experts to discuss how best to implement the recommendations put forth by the panel in late 2013,” said Mr. Irvine. “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.

“We must tell them that a regional approach is the best way forward to strengthening the lobster sector in Canada.

Key North American seafood leaders will talk about the changes they feel are needed to stabilize the Canadian lobster industry.

The keynote speaker is Egil Ove Sundheim from the Norwegian Seafood Council. He will speak about how generic marketing has made Norway one of the strongest seafood export countries in the world. The federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is slated to speak shortly after lunch on Thursday.

For more information, download the Maritime Lobster Panel report at http://novascotia.ca/fish/documents/Maritime-Lobster-Panel-Report-NOV1.pdf .

The Lobster Council of Canada’s mission is to increase the overall value of and demand for Canadian lobster. Established in 2009, the Lobster Council of Canada brings together Canadian lobster harvesters, live shippers, processors, First Nations, and provincial and federal governments, among others, to work on projects of mutual benefit. Areas of focus include lobster quality and traceability, a national lobster branding and promotion strategy, market access challenges and opportunities and industry communication.

With government support and members from across Atlantic Canada and Quebec, the Lobster Council of Canada is recognized as the voice of the Canadian lobster industry.

Source: Release

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