News Release Archive

Recent statistics show that 1996 was a banner year for Nova
Scotia seafood exports, said Fisheries Minister Jim Barkhouse.

Export values totalled $799.4 million for the year. "This is a
slight increase over 1995 figures, and represents the highest
export values to date," said Mr. Barkhouse.

Nova Scotia produces some of the most sought after seafood in the
world including live lobster, scallops, and crabs. The province
enjoys an excellent reputation for high quality product, both
fresh and processed, said the minister.

"It's not by happenstance that we are well-positioned in global
markets," he said. "Seafood suppliers have worked hard to provide
consistent supplies, ensure product quality, establish good
distribution systems, and fight for air space against

Mr. Barkhouse pointed out that prices for live lobster remained
strong in 1996 and exports are expected to approach the 1995
value of $230 million. 

While Nova Scotia suppliers continue to sell lobster products to
traditional markets in the United States, France and the United
Kingdom, new markets are opening in Asia and Europe. The value of
live lobster exports to Hong Kong grew ten fold to $13.3 million
between 1992 and 1995.

"The global market for seafood products is dynamic, always moving
according to prices, availability of product, and trends in
consumer tastes. Nova Scotia seafood producers are aggressive
marketers and have succeeded in staying on top of developments,"
said Mr. Barkhouse.

Mr. Barkhouse said groundfish landings improved in 1996, with
quota increases for several important stocks, particularly cod
and haddock in waters off southwestern Nova Scotia.
Recommendations for 1997 indicate that quota levels will continue
to improve, mainly in the southwest part of the province.

In response to strong demand for new and fresh seafood products,
Nova Scotia producers are offering innovative new products,
including shrimp and a variety of crabs, said the minister. For
example, a cold storage system has been designed to keep shrimp
alive for shipping, "adding value to the product and higher
revenues to the industry," he said.

Developments in new fisheries for non-traditional species are
encouraging and are helping the industry diversify, said Mr.
Barkhouse. A new inshore shrimp fishery using traps showed good
results in 1996. "Today, we have an established fishery for 10
licensed harvesters doing about $1 million worth of fishing.
There may be potential for more licences in the near future."

Aquaculture continued to make gains in 1996 with production
increasing to about $13 million from $11 million the previous
year. Aquaculture is expanding and creating new jobs for Nova
Scotians, said the minister. "By the year 2000, we expect to have
an industry with a production value of $45 million and employing
close to 1000 people."

Sportfishing, currently valued at $82 million a year, is another
sector that saw growth in 1996 due to efforts to promote new
opportunities for winter fishing and for non-traditional species
including small-mouth bass and pickerel. Saltwater sportfishery
is also gaining in popularity particularly in association with
the growing eco-tourism sector.

"Diversification continues to keep the fishery vibrant and
strong. We are building on our strengths and growing the economy
by diversifying in the traditional fishery, aquaculture,
sportfishing and other developmental sectors," he said.


Contact: Diane Kenny  902-424-0308 

trp                    Mar. 26, 1997 - 2:45 p.m.