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Image: CBC Radio Canada / FIS

Nova Scotia seafood sector far exceeds targets set a decade ago

Click on the flag for more information about Canada CANADA
Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by CBC Radio Canada:

Seafood exports to China alone grew from $25 million in 2007 to $666 million in 2021

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay was roasted by opponents last week when he posted a photo on X (formerly Twitter) of himself eating a lobster in Malaysia while on a trade mission in the Indo-Pacific.

Source: X (Twitter)

The P.E.I. politician was denounced as tone deaf and out of touch with average Canadians, but overseas trade missions are one reason Nova Scotia seafood exports have exceeded goals set for the industry 10 years ago in the Ivany report — a blueprint for expanding the province's economy.

Veteran seafood analyst Peter Norsworthy — while not weighing in on the optics of the MacAulay image — said seafood exports from Nova Scotia to China have grown from $25 million in 2007 to $666 million in 2021, with almost all of that growth in lobster.

It was a new market able to absorb huge increases in landings occurring at the time.

"The challenge that we had in the early 2010s was the increasing volume of lobster being available and a lack of market. The Maritime provinces collectively put a push on promoting those products in Asia," Norsworthy said.

Former premier Stephen McNeil and then-fisheries minister Keith Colwell were frequent flyers to Asia.

"Those promotion efforts by the provinces and the governments at the time certainly helped take that excess lobster and increase demand for lobster overall and boosted prices. Market promotion works," he said.

Good luck and good management

Many other factors outside the control of government or industry contributed to growth in Nova Scotia's seafood exports, especially a favourable exchange rate.

Source: CBC

The industry works in Canadian dollars and is paid in U.S. dollars. Both were near par in 2012. Since then, the Canadian dollar weakened to the benefit of the exporters.

Increased consumer demand in North America during COVID-19 also helped, as has a growing Chinese middle class with an appetite for the crustacean that's bright red when cooked and sometimes called a dragon prawn.

Source: Nova Scotia Seafood

A decade after the Ivany report was issued as a call to action, fishery and agriculture exports stand out in an assessment of where Nova Scotia has met, or failed to meet, 19 targets it identified. The value of Nova Scotia food exports increased 168 per cent in the decade ending 2022, easily surpassing the goal to double in value.

Rising seafood exports were driven by the big four: lobster, crab, shrimp and scallops. Lobster leads the way with an export value of $1.3 billion in 2022. [Continues...]

Author: Paul Withers | CBC Radio Canada | Read the full article by clicking the link here

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