Fisheries

Marketing of Maritime lobster receives financial boost (09/02/27)

NB 248

Feb. 27, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick, the other Maritime provinces and the federal government are contributing a total of $455,000 to improve the marketing of lobster caught in this region. The announcement was made today by representatives of the three provinces and the federal government.

The federal government, through the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Canadian Agriculture and Food International program, is providing $328,750 to the Fisheries Council of Canada to kick-start the promotional campaign. The governments of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are contributing the other $126,250.

"Atlantic Canadian lobster is the best in the world, and we will work together with top marketers, chefs and communicators to make that case around the world," said Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. "Our objective is not only to get through the current economic storm but also build new markets for our Canadian lobster."

Activities under the program will include advertising, media campaigns, retail promotions, chef events, market research and consumer promotion. The focus will be on promoting Canadian lobster as a unique delicacy.

"We take great pride in the quality of our lobster," said Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson. "It is the best lobster in the world and an important part of our fisheries in New Brunswick and an important part of the economy of our Fundy islands."

Thompson is the MP for New Brunswick Southwest and is the regional federal minister for New Brunswick.

"The federal government is aware that the lobster industry has been hit hard by the economic downturn, but that doesn't change the fact that Atlantic lobster is high quality, healthy food with high consumer appeal," said Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea. "I am pleased to see both levels of government working together with industry on a range of marketing activities targeted at increasing the profile of Canadian lobster."

Shea had recently participated in a roundtable to discuss the concerns of the lobster industry.

"Given the importance of the lobster resource in each of our respective provinces, we felt it was imperative to act together," said Ron Chisholm, minister of fisheries and aquaculture for Nova Scotia. "By developing Maritimes lobster-specific marketing strategies, we will increase awareness and perception about Atlantic lobster worldwide."

The project will work on maintaining the United States as the Canadian lobster industry's largest market, it will also include market development programs for emerging markets, particularly in Europe and Asia.

"If we want to attract more buyers from Asia, Europe and the United States, our marketing activities will help to reach areas of the world where there is a lack of Canadian lobster knowledge," said Neil LeClair, minister of fisheries, aquaculture and rural development for Prince Edward Island.

Under the project, the Maritime provinces intends to showcase lobster to high-end restaurant chef and culinary media from markets such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Germany, Spain and the United States.

09/02/27

MEDIA CONTACTS: Angélique Binet, communications, Department of Fisheries, 506-457-3549; Media relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 613-759-7972; Meagan Murdoch, press secretary, office of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz, 613-759-1059.

09/02/27