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« เมื่อ: กุมภาพันธ์ 22, 2010, 11:41:21 AM »

Lobster industry to spend USD 2.1 mln innovating itself

CANADA
Monday, February 22, 2010, 12:50 (GMT + 9)

The Atlantic lobster industry will get a CAD 2.2 million (USD 2.1 million) boost to create new processing methods and lobster products, Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announced on Thursday.

The funds are part of an attempt to develop long-term solutions to industry troubles, the minister said on behalf of National Revenue Minister Keith Ashfield. Ashfield is also responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Atlantic Gateway.

"This is all in an effort to improve the bottom line to all the stakeholders in the industry — right from the harvesters, to the buyers, to the seafood processors," Shea stated said.

"We all know that we have to get the price for lobster up and so by trying to open new markets … invest in new technology, which will allow processors to be more viable. Right down to the harvesters, the buyers and the processors, we have to improve their bottom line," she added, CBC News reports.

Regional lobster prices reached a 20-year low last season at below CAD 3 (USD 2.87) a lb.

Funds worth CAD 417,000 (USD 398,955) have already been separated for Canada's Atlantic lobster industry to develop a complete marketing strategy, Shea had already announced.

The newest aid will be used by the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Seafood Processors Association to invest in two projects: developing four to six new lobster products over the year, and innovating processing methods and equipment to help cut production costs and increase labour productivity at processing facilities. The Food Technology Centre and Holland College will help conduct these projects meant to benefit the lobster industry as a whole by sharpening its competitive edge.

Some CAD 1.6 million (USD 1.5 million) are being contributed to the cause by the Ottawa Government, CAD 500,000 (USD 478,364) by the PEI Government and CAD 95,000 (USD 90,889) by the PEI Atlantic Shrimp Corporation.

“Our government continues to listen to the concerns of the lobster industry and to support projects that will provide long-term solutions to the challenges caused by the global economic downturn,” the minister commented, The Guardian reports. “Our commitment of CAD 1.6 million (USD 1.5 million) to these projects will support product innovation and the development of new processing technology that will deliver benefits for the entire Atlantic lobster industry.”

Through the Community Adjustment Fund’s CAD 8 million- (USD 7.7 million) lobster initiative, the national Economic Action Plan backs schemes in new product innovation, identification of new markets and research and development to ensure a productive and sustainable lobster fishery for the region, Shea said.

About 50,000 workers in Atlantic Canada are employed by the lobster industry.

Related article:

- USD 400K allotted for lobster marketing

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com

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