In 2013, many individuals in the live lobster business viewed the sudden increase of lobster landings as a crisis. Although the high landings of lobster were challenging at times, the Co-op viewed the increase in lobster landings as a positive indication of the Harvesters conservation efforts and as an opportunity for growth. With the increased purchases of lobster and with the only Lobster processing plant on Cape Breton Island, the Co-op is continually seeking ways to increase our volume of processed Lobster for the local and international markets that we serve.
In anticipation of another season of high lobster landings in 2014 , and in keeping with Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Limited’s exceptional quality efforts, the Co-op has embarked on an expansion of its Lobster Pound holding Facilities. The expansion includes the installation of an additional outside holding tank (69ft x 23ft). The outside tank expansion will allow the Co-op to store an additional 57,600 pounds of live Lobster at our facilities.
Progressing with our long-term vision, the Co-op will be shipping live Snow Crab to national and international customers beginning in April of 2014. This will be the second phase of this initiative that began several years ago with some preliminary shipments of live Snow Crab by Victoria Co-op to the west coast of Canada. We have now partnered with a Nova Scotia-based live lobster dealer that has many years of experience in shipping live product all over the world. We fully expect this initiative to be extremely successful and to result in adding value to an already high valued seafood product.
Chilled Water Holding Facility
In addition to the outside tank expansion, and as part of its long term vision/planning process, the Co-op is finalizing engineering plans with the assistance of CBCL Ltd. on an expansion of the chilled water holding facilities. The expanded holding facilities will provide the Co-op with the ability to continue processing lobster long after the season has ended.