Aqualife and Maersk deliver fresh lobsters to Holland

Fresh from the Sea

Europeans with a hankering for fresh Atlantic lobster now have an alternative to the expense of flying the crustacean across the ocean. It’s an option that will see the delicacy delivered fresh from the sea.

Halifax-based Aqualife North America is working with the Maersk shipping company to carry live lobsters from Halifax to Rotterdam, Holland, using a new technology patented by Aqualife A/S and A.P. Møller-Maersk group.

Aqualife president Gordon Neal says that the company has been developing this technology since 2004, and has been working with partners such as Maersk and the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. The technology aerates the water while reducing the temperature to one or two degrees Celsius, which causes the lobsters to go dormant for the 12-day journey to Europe.

Neal says that the technology will reduce the carbon footprint created by flying lobsters via air freight, and that this is attractive to European consumers. “We’re hoping that will expand to lower grade products,” said Neal, suggesting that the technology could be adapted to species such as mussels, oysters, clams, and snow crabs.

Neal says that about 12 containers were successfully shipped from Halifax to Rotterdam during the development phase. Aqualife is setting up one ‘aquaport’ in Halifax and one in Holland to collect lobsters for distribution. Maersk ships started making stops in Halifax in May, transporting up to four containers of lobsters per week to ship to Rotterdam. By Shaina Luck

That’s a Wrap

PolyCello, an Atlantic Canada-based flexible packaging company, has received two Excellence in Flexography awards from the Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) gala awards banquet in Las Vegas, NV. PolyCello was named the Silver award winner in the line, film and the process, film categories in the wide web class for 2010. In this competition, the FTA was looking for images that “pop off the substrate.”

“We are honored to be selected as the silver recipient for these two entries,” said Stephen Emmerson, president and CEO, PolyCello. “Our high quality print capabilities are gathering attention because PolyCello is always testing the limits of what flexographic printing can do.”

PolyCello received the awards for its advanced print capabilities (10 colour, 175 line screen technology) and the expertise of its employees. This is the third year in a row PolyCello has been honoured at the Excellence in Flexography awards.

Flavour to Savour

With an eclectic dish featuring PEI bar clams, pork, hot house tomatoes, melted organic shiitake mushrooms and green garlic, Chef John Pritchard of John Pritchard Cuisine in Charlottetown has laid claim to the inaugural PEI Flavours Local Food Award.

“With increased consumer demand for local products, more and more restaurants are featuring PEI food on the menu,” states Jeff McCourt, chair of the PEI Culinary Alliance.  “(This) award helps recognize those chefs who are highlighting and being creative with local products.”

The PEI Flavours Local Food Award is an initiative of the PEI Culinary Alliance. Menu items were presented to a panel of media and chef judges.  The winning dish was selected based on presentation, taste, recipe/cooking method, and the creative use of local products.  Each dish was required to feature PEI food as the main ingredient with a total of 60 per cent local products contained in the recipe.

Lose your Job, Keep your House

Two Nova Scotia companies are working together to offer Canadian home buyers job loss insurance coverage on their mortgages. Propel Insure, a marketing consulting company, worked with benefits consulting firm Fraser& Hoyt to develop the product and make it available to Canadian home buyers via the mortgage broker network.

“We saw the need (for this product) first hand in working with home buyers who were asking if there was any protection for their mortgage in the event of job loss.  A review of the Canadian market at the time showed there was no option for Canadian home buyers at the banks or from mortgage brokers,” said David Young, president of Propel Insure. “Default on mortgages remains very low in Canada and this was not the primary reason for the product being developed and made available to Canadian home buyers. It was designed to give potential and first time buyers confidence and reassurance to make a home purchase knowing they have protection available to them in case of involuntary unemployment.”

Though new to the Canadian market, job loss insurance has been available in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. In the event of involuntary job loss, the insurance will cover mortgage payments up to six months for as much as $4,000 per month. Young notes that the product has been test marketed in various regions across Canada since early 2010 and response from home buyers and mortgage brokers to date has been very positive. He adds that the insurance is not expensive and is based on the amount of the mortgage. For some clients it can be as low as $10 per month.

Pennecon Gets Energy Boost

Pennecon Energy has restructured operations in order to provide its clients with a more tightly integrated service offering. Along with officially re-titling all of its component companies with the Pennecon banner, the move also achieves greater organizational efficiency through shared administrative and management resources. “This enables all divisions of Pennecon Energy to increase their throughput in our facilities without increasing our overheads,” says company head, Don Noseworthy.  The common branding also provides a less complicated appearance to clients as it makes the scope and skill set of the company easier to comprehend.

Noseworthy says the restructuring gives Pennecon Energy the ability to increase its volume of business without having to increase overhead costs. “Simultaneously with these announcements, we are modifying our operating systems for both accounting/project controls, and also for our Quality Assurance and Health, Safety, Environment and Security systems.”

The revamped Pennecon Energy reflects a tighter management structure and improves on the company’s existing multi-disciplined resources. Rhonda Devine, former manager of Ozark Services has been promoted to general manager of Pennecon Energy Technical Services for both NL and NS.  Long time manager Eddy Knox, originally VP of Offshore Services for Hydraulic Systems, has been promoted to the position of general manager of Pennecon Energy Hydraulic Systems for both NL and NS.  Paul Stanley, previously VP of Ozark Services and Hydraulic Services, has been reassigned to the position of general manager of Technical and Strategic Planning for all of Pennecon Energy. Finally, Laudric Jenkins (previously manager of Finance) has stepped into the role of general manager for Finance and Administration for all of Pennecon Energy.

Pennecon Energy is a division of Pennecon Limited, the construction arm of the Penney Group.  The Energy Division employs over 150 full time personnel in offices located in St. John’s, Paradise, Bay Bulls, Long Harbour and Dartmouth, NS, and has expanded its workforce to approximately 1,000 personnel.

Pennecon Energy’s Corporate Realignment:

  • Pennecon Energy Technical Services (formerly Ozark Services Ltd.)
  • Pennecon Energy Hydraulic Systems (formerly Hydraulic Systems Ltd)
  • Pennecon Energy Marine Base (formerly Bay Bulls Marine Terminal Inc)
  • Pennecon Energy Industrial Services (formerly Penney Industrial Ltd)
  • Pennecon Energy Projects Group (New)
Clearwater Lands another Sustainable Catch

For environmentally conscious consumers, Marine Stewardship Council certification is the gold standard in sustainable fish harvesting. It’s a standard that Clearwater Seafoods of Bedford, Nova Scotia has earned four times over with the recent addition of Eastern Canadian Offshore Lobster to its MSC roster (joining Canadian Sea Scallops, Argentine Scallops and Canadian Coldwater Shrimp). It is the first Canadian lobster fishery to achieve the MSC certification.

Becoming certified required Clearwater to meet strict environment standards and prove that its product is being harvested and managed using sustainable methods. “I am delighted the Eastern Canadian offshore lobster fishery has met the MSC standard and congratulate the fishers, management agency and Clearwater Seafoods on this successful certification,” said Marine Stewardship Council CEO Rupert Howes in a published statement. “With increased demand for credible, certified, sustainable seafood choices around the world, I have no doubt that MSC recognition will add value to this fourth MSC-certified species for Clearwater Seafoods. I wish Clearwater every success.”

Clearwater CEO Ian Smith says his company’s next goal is to extend the MSC standard to its inshore catch. “Our offshore catch is limited and the inshore fishery is a key component of our global lobster sales.” He believes Canadian lobster has been undervalued in the marketplace and hopes the new certification will improve differentiation and customer demand.

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