East Coast groundfish industry gives its brand a major overhaul

East Coast groundfish industry gives its brand a major overhaul
Processing groundfish provides thousands of jobs at plants across Atlantic Canada. Photo courtesty Atlantic Groundfish Council

Why an Atlantic Canada fishing organization freshened up its name and image

Say goodbye to the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council. Say hello to the Atlantic Groundfish Council.

This organization, which represents year-round groundfish companies in Atlantic Canada, replaced its clunky sounding old name in December of 2018 with the new one―Atlantic Groundfish Council―and with it completed a rebrand that includes a new website and the tagline ‘Responsible Harvesting for Tomorrow.’

Council executive director Dr. Kris Vascotto says the rebrand was necessary as the council’s activities have changed since it was formed in 1997. “The name is catching up with what we are doing,” Vascotto says.

Groundfish live on or near the seafloor and the most familiar species have been the backbone of Atlantic Canada’s fishing industry for decades―Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, Greenland halibut, haddock, redfish, flounder and pollock. It has members in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. Some of the members are major players in Canada’s seafood sector, such as Clearwater Seafoods and Ocean Choice International.

As the organization has matured, its role has evolved. Vascotto says some of the council’s key initiatives are pursuing coveted Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certificates for commercial groundfish fisheries in the region, improving the investment climate and positioning Atlantic Canada’s groundfish in premium world markets.

Those will remain priorities for the council. One thing that will improve the investment climate, and the council will focus on, is having consistent, reliable quotas for its members. When quotas are cut suddenly or allocated to different players (as the federal government is doing with the Arctic surf clam) it can create uncertainty among industry players. And that uncertainty impacts investment decisions on innovation and research and development that allow its members to reap the highest value from the groundfish they catch. “We want a fishery that lasts for generations, not a year or two,” Vascotto says.

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