Canadian Government Reaches Out to Lobster Industry
The Canadian government has implemented economic initiatives it hopes will aid the country’s struggling lobster fishery.
Gail Shea, Canada’s minister of Fisheries and Oceans, issued a public statement on Friday expressing her support of the industry and disclosing her goal of ensuring “the continued viability of this valuable contributor to the Canadian economy.”
Shea’s statement followed a meeting of maritime representatives from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and other eastern seaports to devise ways to overcome the challenges the lobster fishery is facing, such as managing supply and improving market access.
“There’s no question that current markets for lobster are challenging,” Shea said. “All of the participants in today’s meeting recognize the need for immediate action to secure Canadian lobster in the global marketplace. Officials at both levels of government are working with industry on a range of marketing activities targeted at increasing the profile of Canadian lobster in wholesale, retail and foodservice markets.”
To provide support to industries affected by the global economic crisis, the Canadian government has implemented an economic action plan to aid communities hurt by the declining global demand for seafood. One initiative is a $1 billion Community Adjustment Fund that will help to provide “economic diversification” and “improve access to credit for fishing enterprises and tax relief for small businesses.”
“It’s also clear that we must look beyond short-term fluctuations in landings and market conditions to long-term conservation of lobster resources. If we don’t manage our fisheries in a sustainable manner, we will put the economic benefits we derive from them at risk,” said Shea.