The purpose behind the new fresh Jail Island Seafood line is to bring local, high quality, traceable fish to retailers and restaurants throughout southeastern Canada.
The line was launched on 15 April by Halifax, Nova Scotia-based A.C. Covert Distributors, a subsidiary of True North Salmon — the sales and marketing arm of Cooke Aquaculture. A.C. Covert has started supplying hook and line caught halibut to a restaurant in Nova Scotia and other restaurants and grocery stores will likely being carrying the line soon.
A.C. Covert plans to market the line in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. In the future, the Jail Island Seafood line will include swordfish, haddock, and other local seafood in season.
Fish included in the line has to meet five criteria: it must be fresh, local, premium, traceable (through Ecotrust Canada’s ThisFish program), and responsible. “Our customers want fresh, local and variety. Those are qualities that the line delivers,” Andrew Lively, director of marketing for True North Salmon, told SeafoodSource.
“The idea came about from several years of working at the farmer’s market in Halifax. The more I was able to communicate and connect the consumer with the harvester, the more the consumers wanted to know [about the fish],” Mike McGlone, general manager of A.C. Covert, told SeafoodSource.
The Jail Island fish will be traceable back to the vessel and date of catch. In addition, the fish is carefully inspected to ensure that there is no gaping, bruising, or discoloration, according to the company.
As a result, local fishermen using what A.C. Covert refers to as “responsible” fishing practices, will be able to receive a premium for their products. “The fishermen produce such a high quality product. Now we are going to be able to get a better return for them,” Lively said.
A.C. Covert has a number of initiatives in place to ensure the Jail Island brand is both socially and environmentally responsible. For example, it has started a Fisheries Improvement Fund, whereby a percentage of Jail Island’s sales will be earmarked for projects designed to improve local fisheries.
A.C. Covert chose the Jail Island Seafood name based on Jail Island in the Gulf of Maine.
It is an island that was named by fishermen in the days of sail named. We have owned this name and trademark for several years and felt it fit well with the traditional fisher, local message of the brand,” Lively said.