Tag Archives: Lobster Council of Canada

Rogue wave hits Canadian lobster industry as U.S. moves to increase minimum legal size

An unexpected decision to increase the minimum legal size of lobster in the United States has appeared like a rogue wave on the Canadian industry, threatening to curtail live exports south of the border. With total Canadian live shipments worth $545 million in 2022, the potential trade implications was the first item on the agenda in the annual U.S.-Canada lobster town meeting being held in Moncton, N.B., this week. “Effectively we will not be able to ship a certain size lobster there that we always have. So their action will create an action that we have to respond to in Canada,” said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. The U.S. move to increase the minimum legal size of a lobster carapace, or outer shell, from 82 millimetres to 84 millimetres in January 2025 — and to 86 millimetres in 2027 — would create a mismatch in the closely integrated two-way trading between the countries. photos, more, >>click to read<< 10:22

Canada’s biggest lobster fishery on notice after Right Whale entanglement in Nova Scotia gear

The entanglement of a North Atlantic right whale in Canadian lobster gear earlier this year will increase scrutiny this season on the lucrative southwestern Nova Scotia lobster fishery. In order to be certified as sustainable, the fishery must now prove its actions will not hinder the recovery of the critically endangered species. “This means the fishery has to demonstrate in collaboration with [the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that it’s going to strengthen its strategy to mitigate impacts on right whales,” says Kurtis Hayne, program director for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in Canada.  To satisfy the conditions, the Lobster Council of Canada, on behalf of industry and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), have developed an action plan to increase overflights in lobster fishing area 33 and increase data collection, says Lobster Council executive director Geoff Irvine. more, >>click to read<< 06:39

Despite a pause on new regulations, U.S. and Canadian lobstermen see big challenges ahead

After a two-year hiatus, members of the U.S. and Canadian lobster fisheries met in Portland over the weekend to discuss challenges facing their industry. Top of mind is how the industry will prepare before new federal regulations designed to protect endangered right whales begin in six years. Fisheries in Maine had late last year expressed relief about the years-long delay in the rules change included in a federal spending bill, as it bought the industry more time to research and test new fishing techniques and other measures aimed at protecting North Atlantic right whales. >click to read< 09:10

North Atlantic Right Whale not impacted by NL lobster, snow crab fisheries

“The justification for the new “avoid” rating does not reference any of this significant action by Canadian lobster fishery stakeholders, does not identify any pathway toward achieving a better evaluation and only tells the fishery to “do more”. The Canadian lobster sector is constantly working on solutions and will continue to innovate to protect the NARW. The new Seafood Watch rating tells us that Monterey Bay Aquarium is not working collaboratively to help fisheries improve.” “It’s really not even a Canadian problem. The species spends more of its time in American waters, but I think harvesters in the United States have done a lot to mitigate the impacts out that way. There is no evidence that these fisheries are impacting the recovery of the right whale overall. There’s a lot of other factors that are impacting it, but it’s not these fisheries. I hope consumers will look into this and see that is the case.” >click to read< 09:45

U.S. inflation is sinking Canadian lobster and snow crab prices – U.S. consumers giving up pricey seafood

The price of Canada’s two most valuable seafoods is crashing this year as consumers recoil from the impact of rising inflation. The price of snow crab has plummeted in 2022 between 60 and 65 per cent while lobster prices have fallen about 35 per cent. Demand that had built up during the pandemic for all types of frozen and fresh seafood powered the Nova Scotia industry to a record-breaking year in 2021 with revenues reaching $2.5 billion, led by the two shellfish. But high prices for frozen snow crab and frozen lobster, along with a modest increase in the price of live lobster last year, are melting in 2022. “And the reason is that consumers backed away from the high prices at the same time that they began to be buffeted by these other problems of high gasoline prices, inflation and concern about lack of economic support,” John Sackton said. >click to read< 09:48

East Coast lobster harvest sustainable, according to non-profit’s criteria — but a Seafood Watch report advises consumers to avoid it

A recent report by a California-based seafood assessment group has the East Coast lobster industry seeing red. While Seafood Watch has put lobster on its “red list” and recommend consumers avoid it, lobster fisheries in most areas of Atlantic Canada have been certified sustainable by another group that has significant credentials in the business of seafood accreditation. In existence for about 25 years, the Marine Stewardship Council is a global non-profit organization that works to end overfishing around the world. Catherine Pigeon-Dubeau, fisheries and commercial manager for MSC in Eastern Canada, said the last review of the East Coast lobster fishery was in July of this year, and the Blue Label certification remains in place. >click to read< 14:10

Canadian Lobster industry sense more regulations coming for Chinese exports

In January, the Chinese Government introduced new import regulations known as Decrees 248 and 249, which require international distributors to register with the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), and for products to include Chinese-language labeling. Since their implementation, there have been many issues, with lobster distributors claiming they have erroneously been told they aren’t registered with GACC, causing delays in shipping and in sometimes voiding the Chinese importer’s obligation to pay. Currently, the regulations only apply to frozen or cooked products. >click to read< Tracing measures issued in January required Chinese-language labelling on processed seafood >click to read<14:56

Will Atlantic Canada lobster season break another sales record? Or will inflation curb consumer appetite,,,

Roger Fowlow is paying a lot of attention to the long-range marine forecast these days. Lobster season opens soon and he’s hoping the unsettled spring weather will ease off, giving him light winds to set his lobster pots. He used to catch cod, but with quotas so low, cod prices stalled for years at less than a dollar a pound, and fuel prices soaring this year. He said it’s not worth bothering with. Lobster is the money maker, and the last few years have given him good catches and good prices. Fowlow is confident of good catches again this year. But on the question of the price he might get paid, he’s not so certain. For P.E.I. lobster fisher Bethany McCarthy, inflation is already driving up the cost of running her boat. In addition to higher prices for fuel, she’ll have to shell out more money for bait this year, thanks to DFO’s decision to kill the mackerel fishery. photos, video, >click to read< 12:15

The value of Canadian lobster exports has skyrocketed driving the wharf price toward a record high

Two weeks ago, at wharfs in Nova Scotia, the price of lobster was the highest it has ever been. Stewart Lamont, managing director of Tangier Lobster Company, a live lobster exporter in Nova Scotia, said the shore price for lobster, the amount fishermen get from buyers, was $18 a pound. That’s more than double the regular pre-pandemic price. It has since gone down due to a drop in exports and higher supply. Lamont said this week lobster was around $12 to $12.50 a pound. While high prices mean more money for lobster exporters and fishermen, Lamont said he is scared that if lobster becomes too expensive, people and businesses will simply stop buying it. >click to read< 10:52

Coronavirus: Data shows pandemic landed blow on P.E.I. lobster fishery in 2020

P.E.I.’s lobster fishery in 2020 never quite recovered from a late start caused by the pandemic, although sellers were able to quickly change gears to keep export sales close to 2019 values. The P.E.I. lobster fishery had record landings in 2019, well over 40 million pounds, but landings were down 8.6 per cent in 2020, according to preliminary numbers from the provincial government. The start of the spring season was delayed two weeks,,, >click to read< 08:25

“We’re not sure what it means,” – Trump turns an eye on Canadian lobster, launches Trade Investigation

On Aug. 24, the United States International Trade Commission announced it will investigate the possible negative effects of the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) on American lobster exports. The investigation was requested by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The investigation will also examine tariff treatment of Canadian lobster in the United Kingdom, China and other countries. “We’re not sure what it means,” said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. “We’re studying it. The government of Canada is studying it. Now we’re talking to our colleagues in the U.S. and we’re trying to figure out how best to manage it from the Canadian side.” >click to read< 08:36

Canadian lobster to China hits another roadblock, demand a signed declaration live lobster is Coronavirus free

Canadian businesses that export lobster to China have run into another border roadblock. On Friday, Chinese importers started demanding a signed declaration that Canadian live and processed lobster is free of COVID-19 before it can enter China. “It’s a bold thing to ask and we as Canadian exporters should push back,” says Stewart Lamont of Tangier Lobster in Nova Scotia. His company flies lobster to mainland China. Lamont has refused to sign the declaration, which makes Canadian companies liable in the Chinese court system if there is a problem. >click to read< 18:52

After months of lobster industry losses, things may finally be taking a turn for the better

“We’ve come through the pandemic and it’s been challenging for everyone, to say the least,” says Geoff Irvine, Executive Director of The Lobster Council of Canada. This week, lobster season opened for some parts of the Maritimes including the North shore of New Brunswick, some parts of PEI, Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Strait and pars of Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Strait.  “We’ve seen the lobster market adjust quite dramatically from very strong demand and high, high prices, record prices in January pre-pandemic, and we’ve adjusted to a new reality and we’re in recovery mode now,” Irvine says. >click to read< 16:01

‘Nothing is normal’: LFA 34 & 33 lobster fishery draws to a close in southwest N.S.

The commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia and along the south shore, draws to a close May 31. Crews are bringing gear back ashore at the conclusion of a season that saw a promising start with catches and the price paid to fishermen, but then hit rough waters due to the coronavirus pandemic. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of people that are already hauled up. Some five days early or more,” said Yarmouth County fishing captain Shawn Muise, following a day of fishing on his vessel, Force Awakens, on May 29. “Nothing is normal.” “The season was going so well at the start. Finally the prices were reflecting the market. But when COVID started, and as the price started to drop, you could see it in the fishermen’s faces,” Lots of photos,  >click to read< 07:29

Gulf lobster fishermen offer to give up season

“Three dollars a pound is what we’re hearing,” said Susan Beaton. The Cape George, Antigonish County fisher was working on her new tiny home on Thursday. It looks out over the grounds she fishes each spring from her boat The UnManned. Water she doesn’t know if she’ll be fishing in two weeks. None of the 600 lobster fishermen along most of the Northumberland Strait and the Eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence do. “We need an answer last Friday,” said Duane Boudreau on Thursday. The president of the Gulf Bonafide Fishermen’s Association wants a ruling from Fisheries and Oceans Canada on whether there will be a season this year.  >click to read< 10:06

Nova Scotia’s lobster industry faces massive setbacks due to Coronavirus impacts

It was shaping up to be one the best seasons ever, but then COVID-19 struck. Geoff Irvine says “it was probably the best time in the lobster industry ever.” As executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada, things were looking up as the new decade began. The shore price was good, catches were consistent and filled the demands of the markets for live and processed lobster. Then, along came COVID-19. Irvine says the Chinese market, the Atlantic industry’s biggest for live lobster, started to collapse on January 25th as they began closing restaurants in China. Europe and the United States would soon follow. Why can’t fishers just wait it out until demand rises again? It’s not that simple. >click to read< 11:28

‘On pins and needles’ – NL fish harvesters, processors keeping an eye on China as coronavirus crisis continues

COVID-19, also commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is having a significant economic impact on China, a country whose importance continues to grow as a destination for seafood from this province. “Everybody’s on pins and needles,” Garnish-based harvester Alfred Fitzpatrick told SaltWire Network recently. The crab season along the province’s south coast usually opens up in early April, followed a couple weeks later by lobster. That’s not far off, and with talk in recent days of COVID-19 potentially becoming a pandemic, it looks as if the economic consequences will continue, as well. “Oh, my God, yes,” Fitzpatrick responded when asked if the COVID-19 crisis was inspiring conversation on the province’s wharves. “Like I said, everybody is worried. With the cost of everything going up and the new requirements and everything everybody got to do, I mean, it’s all money, and if you don’t make it, you can’t spend it, hey,” he said. >click to read< 17:40

Coronavirus shuts down Chinese market for live Nova Scotia lobsters sending industry into panic mode

The sudden and unexpected temporary loss of the Chinese market for Nova Scotia live lobsters due to the coronavirus epidemic is creating a panic situation for the lobster industry.,, “Some people had inventory put away for the Chinese New Year that never got all their product over there in time,” “Everybody’s trying to push lobsters into the U.S. now so they flooded that market on Monday. To be honest we have no sales at all for our lobsters at this point,” said Cotter. >click to read< 14:42

Lobster Council of Canada implementing long-term value marketing strategy

A three-year marketing and promotion strategy for Canadian lobster is being implemented by the Lobster Council of Canada.,,, “We will then implement a comprehensive generic marketing and promotion strategy in the domestic market, the United States and take advantage of positive trade agreements such as CETA and CPTPP in Europe and Asia,” says Irvine.,, The North Atlantic Right Whale, the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Invasive Species in Sweden and EU, and Lobster Husbandry in EU and North America are among the known issues that can impact the marketplace for Canadian lobsters, he says. >click to read<  09:39

Lobster harvesters unfairly blamed of harm to North Atlantic right whales

Much has been written about the ongoing challenge of protecting the North Atlantic right whale along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The impact the 18 reported deaths in 2017 has had on the entire right whale population cannot be understated. The issue in many cases has been a lack of substantiated facts with regard to specific fisheries and the ongoing commitment by key fisheries to protect the right whale. The Canadian lobster fishery is one of those key fisheries that has, until now, remained silent about our role and our ongoing commitment to North Atlantic right whale protection. Our harvesters and processors do what’s needed to ensure a sustainable fishery without fanfare. >click to read<08:28

P.E.I.’s fall fishery facing falling lobster prices, surging dollar

Bobby Jenkins, Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association president, says there are a much smaller number of fishermen harvesting lobster in the fall, compared with the Island’s spring fishery. That, he said, may help maintain prices but there are storm clouds on the horizon. P.E.I.’s fall lobster fishermen set their gear in the Northumberland Strait between Victoria and North Cape on Tuesday. They share the lobster fishing zone with New Brunswick fishermen and a few harvesters from Nova Scotia. The first full catches of the season will be landed today. click here to read the story 09:59

140,000 live Canadian lobster sold to China in 24 hours

Chinese buyers snapped up more than 140,000 live Canadian lobsters within 24 hours last week through a Beijing-based online retailer, and the demand can only grow, says a New Brunswick supplier. The live lobsters came from a variety of sources for the sale July 14 on jd.com, one of the largest e-commerce websites in the world. According to a news release from the company, the surge in lobster purchases was part of a sale promoting fresh food from Canada, which also included cherries and blueberries among the offerings. click here to read the story 10:30

Lobster prices climbing as export market grows

While consumers may not like the high cost of lobster, it is good news for lobster fishermen like Clinton Pendleton. He fishes with his father and grandfather from Deer Island, N.B., in the Bay of Fundy. Pendleton said recent cold temperatures are driving down landings because lobsters don’t feed when it’s too cold. That means they don’t crawl into the baited traps. “This year, compared to recent years, I don’t remember anytime in June when you were able to see your breath all day long,” he said. Cold weather and high demand have driven the price up and kept it there this season.  click here to read the story 21:25

CETA Deal could be in force for opening day of lobster season on P.E.I.

Canada’s free trade deal with Europe is only steps away from being ratified in Ottawa, and the Lobster Council of Canada is telling exporters to get ready. When CETA is passed an eight per cent tariffs on live lobster shipped to Europe will immediately disappear, and could happen as soon as May 1, the day the spring lobster season on P.E.I. opens. Lobster industry officials in Maine are worried that the disappearance of those tariffs, while tariffs on U.S. lobster remain, could eat into their exports. “For the lobster sector it will mean tariff free access to 27 countries in Europe over the next number of years,” said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. Read the rest here 12:32

Some industry members fear confusion as Nova Scotia launches its own seafood brand

Nova Scotia’s decision to create its own seafood brand is getting mixed reviews, with praise from some exporters and a pan from one industry association concerned it could cause confusion in the marketplace. Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell unveiled the $150,000 branding effort Thursday at the Halifax airport cargo hangar where tonnes of live lobster are flown to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. “We realized sometime ago we have to have a unique brand for Nova Scotia,” Colwell said.,, The Halifax-based Lobster Council of Canada is not on board with the new brand. The council has spent years promoting the region’s exports as Canadian lobsters. “We believe  it will lead to confusion in the marketplace,” said executive director Geoff Irvine. “We would prefer Nova Scotia processors use the Canadian brand.” Read the story here 11:25

Fisheries group wants PEI lobster marketed as Canadian product

lobsterDM0811_468x521The Eastern Kings Fishermen’s Association is determined to have PEI lobster marketed as a Canadian product rather than specifically Island sourced. The Lobster Marketing Board (LMB) is getting set to promote the sale of the PEI commodity through funds collected through the lobster levy. At the same time the Eastern Kings Fishermen’s Association (EKFA) is putting its support behind the Lobster Council of Canada (LLC), whose mandate is to promote the product regionally. Fishermen who attended Monday’s annual meeting of the EKFA unanimously agreed to make a $6,000 donation to the LCC and buy a membership into the organization, thus having the distinction of being the first PEI fishermen’s local organization to become a member. The motion, put forward by fisherman Michael MacDonald, was in part due to the concern fishermen have over PEIFA marketing PEI lobster on its own over the last couple of years under the Master Lobster Brand. Read the rest here 15:25

Lobster Council of Canada working with European governments to combat threat to live lobster imports

 lobsterThe discovery of several dozen live lobsters in Swedish waters earlier this year is jeopardizing future imports to Europe from North America. In Canada, there is work being done to prevent that move. Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada, says the organization has been working on this issue for months. “We just want everyone to be aware that it is being attacked very aggressively,” he said. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is spearheading a drive to stop the import of live lobsters from North American exporters. It has asked the European Union to bar these imports. The agency considers the American lobster an alien species in Swedish waters and has satated the lobsters’ presence could introduce new and “very serious diseases and parasites that may affect domestic European lobster and other shellfish.”  Read the rest here 10:30

Legislation for lobster levy ready – won’t go ahead without fishermen’s support

Keith%20Colwell%20Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane asked Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell Friday for an update on the levy that could see Nova Scotia fishermen pay either one or two cents for every pound landed, which would go towards marketing Nova Scotia lobsters. “We are losing ground on collective efforts to co-ordinate a lobster marketing plan like other provinces such as Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, for they are all supportive of the Lobster Council of Canada and are moving ahead of Nova Scotia with their marketing strategies,”,, Read the article here 11:14

Canada’s new Liberal government says it is currently developing priorities for the lobster industry

hunter-tootooCanada’s new Liberal government is in no rush to implement Stephen Harper’s promise aimed at wooing voters in Atlantic Canada during the recent federal election of $20 million in funding for lobster promotion and research. Harper made the pledge Sept. 10 in New Annan, P.E.I. and promised $5 million for research and $15 million over three years to the Halifax-based Lobster Council of Canada to promote lobster sales. Fisheries and Oceans Canada would not address Harper’s promise, saying new Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo is developing priorities. Read the rest here 08:44

Lobster levy to get review after Lobster Council of Canada criticism

lobsterDM0811_468x521Provincial governments in the Maritimes want a review of the publicly funded industry group pushing for a lobster levy to help promote the industry. The review will be carried out this spring and summer and follows criticism of the Lobster Council of Canada, primarily from fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia. Plans for a one cent per pound levy to promote Canadian lobster next year are moving ahead in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, but in Nova Scotia there is resistance. Read the rest here 16:55