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March 24, 2014
For immediate release

Lobster summit kicks off in Halifax

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development

An historic lobster summit is set to get underway this week in Halifax, on March 26 and 27 at the Lord Nelson Hotel. 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 (LLC) is organizing the Summit with funding from the three Provinces and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which has contributed $40,000.

“The Maritime Lobster Panel report has received great interest within the lobster industry on Prince Edward Island and I am pleased with the positive response to the report and our progress to date. The report provides a number of key recommendations that if acted upon by industry will lead to a stronger maritime lobster fishery,” said Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development for Prince Edward Island, Ron MacKinley. “The Canadian Lobster Value Recovery Summit is an important opportunity for government and our industry leaders to come together to discuss the current situation in the industry as well as the next steps that are required to ensure a sustainable industry for the future. I look forward to more discussions as we move forward on this important initiative for the industry.”

According to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Gail Shea, “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. 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.”

LCC Executive Director, Geoff Irvine said the summit is an excellent opportunity for all industry stakeholders to discuss the key recommendations from the Value Recovery Strategy that, if implemented, will encourage growth in the sector.

The four recommendations slated for discussion during the two-day summit include:

• the establishment of an independent Maritime Lobster Intelligence Institute;

• the development of a comprehensive generic marketing and promotion campaign;

• discuss price-setting mechanism; and

• 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. 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,” said Irvine.

Participants will also hear from key North American seafood players and their insight into the changes necessary to stabilize the Canadian lobster industry.

The keynote speaker is Egil Ove Sundheim form 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 Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is slated to speak shortly after lunch on Day 2 of the summit.

For more information:

• Download the Report of the Maritime Lobster Panel in English or French.

• Review the 2007 Atlantic Lobster Summit report.

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 industry stakeholders, including harvesters, live shippers, processors, First Nations, and provincial and federal governments, to work on projects of mutual benefit. Areas of focus currently 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.

Media Contact: April Winchester
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