New Brunswick Seafood Industry Improvement Fund

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In New Brunswick, Canada, efforts are underway towards a new industry-financed fund to promote the Province’s lobster industry.

In February 2016, the Seafood Industry Improvement Fund Act was created in response to recommendations of the Maritime Lobster Panel and the Canadian Lobster Value Recovery Summit, which supported the establishment of a levy or “check-off contribution” by industry to finance generic lobster promotion and market intelligence for the Maritime lobster sectors.

“In Moving New Brunswick Forward, we committed to co-operating with our regional partners to establish a lobster check-off contribution to fund a common lobster marketing strategy. This was in response to requests from industry, including harvesters and processors,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “The potential exists to strengthen our lobster industry through increased exports which, in turn, will improve the economy and increase jobs in New Brunswick. This legislation will pave the way for this program.”

The act proposes establishing a Seafood Industry Improvement Fund as a special purpose account to collect mandatory check-off contributions on fish and seafood species landed in New Brunswick. The account would then be used to fund projects of common interest and benefit to the sector which made the contribution.

A two cents per pound check-off contribution was proposed by industry, which would be collected on all lobster landed in New Brunswick. A regulation is under consideration to have the amount remitted by lobster buyers on behalf of the harvesters and processors.

The lobster check-off contribution could potentially generate between $500,000 and $600,000 annually for the New Brunswick lobster industry to invest in export promotion.

“This legislation is the first step. We will continue to engage with buyers, harvesters, processors and our neighbouring provinces to determine an ideal implementation plan for New Brunswick,” said Doucet.

New Brunswick was the second-largest fish and seafood exporting province in the country in 2014, accounting for 22 per cent of Canada’s fish and seafood exports.

Lobster represented nearly 64 per cent of the sector’s value in 2014 and close to 60 per cent of the value of all New Brunswick fish and seafood exports. The United States is the primary export market for New Brunswick lobster.

source: New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries