“If the lobster pie is bigger, than everyone makes more money,” says Andy Chapman of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, which is organising the event from 15-16 October in Halifax.
Atlantic Canada’s lobster fishery contributes to the livelihood of more people than any other fishery. The thought process is to see how the industry can generate more revenue.
“We’re bringing in leading-edge experts, both national and international, to discuss critical issues, get them on the table, and see if we can come up with a consensus to collectively focus on making the lobster pie bigger,” says Chapman. “Where is our product going? How do we deal with market gluts? Are there emerging markets we can get into? What are the quality issues?”
Denny Morrow, the executive director of the Nova Scotia Fish Packers Association, who is also on the summit’s steering committee, says many challenges are impacting the industry.
“International seafood markets are increasingly competitive. There are new aquaculture species seemingly available in greater quantity at good prices and with excellent quality control,” he notes. “We’re facing challenges from animal rights people over humane handling of our catch. We’ve had exchange rate adjustments with the product that’s exported to the United States.”