Annapolis, Digby companies part of lobster export pilot project

Published on February 15, 2017

Taking part in a pilot project between Nova Scotia and China are Nautical Seafoods Ltd. of Parkers Cove, Annapolis County, and Gidney Fisheries Ltd., Centreville, Digby County – along with Fisherman's Market Intl. Ltd., Bedford.

PARKERS COVE - Companies in both Annapolis and Digby counties will help pilot a provincial project that could see more Nova Scotia lobster exported to China.

The province said a new lobster quality initiative between Nova Scotia and Tmall-Alibaba, an online retail company in China, will set a premium quality standard for exported Nova Scotia lobster.

Taking part are Nautical Seafoods Ltd. of Parkers Cove, Annapolis County, and Gidney Fisheries Ltd., Centreville, Digby County – along with Fisherman's Market Intl. Ltd., Bedford.

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Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell said Feb. 15 the province signed a memorandum of understanding with the company. The goal is to help provide premium quality Nova Scotia lobster to growing online markets in China.

"Nova Scotia is known worldwide for its premium quality lobster and seafood, all harvested from the cold and pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean," said Colwell in a media release. "This agreement will establish a supply chain of Nova Scotia lobster to our largest market, while raising the quality standards in our lobster and seafood industries even further."

Gidney Fisheries president and general manager said his company is honoured and excited to be a part of the export project.

"As a global exporter of live lobsters we see this as an opportunity to showcase our superior lobster quality to consumers through Tmall-Alibaba's assistance and dominance in the e-commerce marketplace," said Robert Mac Donald.

Through the agreement the suppliers have committed to sending 300,000 quality-certified live lobsters as the beginning of a long-term quality program.

To reduce mortality issues associated with long-haul export, variable quality, and handling issues, Perennia, a not-for-profit corporation with expertise in food quality and safety, has been asked to put a strict quality certification procedure in place.

The procedure will include a quality standards manual, a training program, and regular audits at participating export plants in Nova Scotia and the receiver sites in China.

Fast Fact

Nova Scotia is the primary supplier of live lobster from Canada. In 2015, the province exported $113 million worth of lobster to China. Overall seafood exports to China exceeded $210 million.