Nova Scotia’s small and medium-sized onshore seafood companies have a new umbrella organization to represent their interests in the fishing industry.
The Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance (NSSA) was officially established on March 1, succeeding the Nova Scotia Fish Packer’s Association, which has represented processors in the province for more than 40 years.
“We are proud of our history, and look forward to a successful future with a new focus and direction,” says Osborne Burke, NSSA president, in a press release. “More than just a name, we have a renewed purpose as an advocate and a consistent voice to government and other key audiences. At the heart of our mission is inclusion. We are stronger when we work together.”
The gradual transition from the Nova Scotia Fish Packers to the Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance began three years ago at a think-tank session by the Fish Packers’ board of directors. The decision was made to rebrand the association while holding on to the best of the existing fundamentals.
The priority of the Alliance is to attract new members from every region of the province, representing all species of seafood, says Leo Muise, executive director.
“Members felt they wanted to be more inclusive in terms of geography and species. Between all of our members we process and buy everything.”
So far the plan seems to be working with at least 10 new members joining the alliance in the last few months.
“We have members from Victoria to Yarmouth,” Muise says. “We want to talk with everyone. Harvesters, goverment, academics, researchers, scientists… we’re open to talking and working together in each other’s best interests. Working together works.”
A native Nova Scotian, Muise has an extensive fisheries background in both the federal and provincial governments. Prior to accepting the position of executive director of the NSSA, Muise was with the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
“The Alliance will continue its predecessor’s strong record of industry leadership,” states a press release. “By working together, the sector can overcome new challenges including sustainability, a demanding regulatory environment, the logistics of serving international markets, and rapidly-changing technology. The organization’s new tagline – Working together works – reflects its goals.”
Along with the new name the seafood alliance has also launched a new website: https://www.novascotiaseafoodalliance.ca/.