Signs point to another strong lobster season

With international sales growing and indications that lobster stocks are healthy, the Lobster Fishers of P.E.I. Marketing Board is expecting another good season.

Exports up in 3 key markets

The spring lobster season begins next week. (Laura Chapin/CBC )

With international sales growing and indications that lobster stocks are healthy, the Lobster Fishers of P.E.I. Marketing Board is expecting another good season.

"Every plane that's possible to fill, leaving Halifax with lobster on it, is full," said board chair Charlie McGeoghegan.

The CETA trade deal with Europe is already having an impact, said McGeoghegan, with sales up 25 per cent. Live sales to China are up 16 per cent, and frozen sales are up 27 per cent.

The U.S. exchange rate remains favourable, and demand in American restaurants is very high. The U.S. remains P.E.I.'s most important export destination, said McGeoghegan.

Inventories from last season have been cleaned out, he said, so there will be no sell-off from warehouses to depress the price.

Looking to the future

The board is in the midst of a consumer market study to give it a better idea where to focus its efforts in coming years.

"We have some preliminary information from that but the full report we don't have yet," said McGeoghegan.

"All of our future marketing and promotion is going to be based around that because that's going to lay out where we should be focusing our efforts and who we should be trying to sell lobsters to."

The lobster season opens on P.E.I. next week. McGeoghegan said last year the industry contributed $485 million to the economy.

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With files from Laura Chapin