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Live Lobster Quality Certification Program

Live Lobster Quality Certification Program

Live Lobster Quality Certification Program

Live lobster companies now have the opportunity to join the Nova Scotia Live Lobster Quality Certification Program, a program developed under the Nova Scotia Seafood Brand, launched by the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NSDFA) and managed by Université Sainte-Anne.

This program has been developed to promote high quality standards within the live lobster supply chain, to enhance our industry’s international reputation and level of knowledge.

Nova Scotia Live Lobster Quality Program certification will not only help you to improve product quality but also to consolidate commercial relationships and to access new markets. You will have authorization to use the Nova Scotia Seafood brand for marketing purposes and you will be promoted by the NSDFA as an Ambassador of the Nova Scotia Live Lobster Industry. Certification means that your customers know that you guarantee a product of standard quality.

Who can participate in the Nova Scotia Live Lobster Quality Certification Program?

Live lobster suppliers and exporters, and harvesters that hold live lobsters for more than 24 hours.

Which are the main quality requirements?

The main pillars of the program include handling and holding best practices, lobster quality, water monitoring and traceability. A manual and guidelines are available for companies interested in learning more about the program and its criteria.

What is Université Sainte-Anne’s role?

Université Sainte-Anne oversees the coordination of the program and guides companies participating in the certification process by providing them with:

  • Comprehensive documentation of the certification criteria
  • Technical and administrative support
  • Financial incentives
  • Access to training

What are the stages of the program?

  1. Learning the requirements As program owner, Université Sainte-Anne will assist your business by providing you with all the documentation needed to understand the specific requirements and steps to follow,  and by offering technical support to help companies meet and implement the standards.
  2. Pre-assessment Once a company has implemented all the necessary steps to achieve the required criteria, companies must undergo a pre-assessment. This can be done in-house or by a third-party body, depending on the company’s preference. Université Sainte-Anne can provide you with online tools to help you undertake an in-house pre-assessment.
  3. Corrective actions The results of the pre-assessment will indicate any deviations that companies must correct prior to scheduling an audit.
  4. Compliance audit Once any deviations have been addressed, the next step is to arrange for a compliance audit.
  5. Annual audit Companies are subject to an annual audit to verify compliance with the quality requirements.

What happens when our company achieves program certification?

You will be a Nova Scotia Live Lobster Quality Certified Company, which verifies the achievement of the highest quality standards in the Nova Scotia live lobster industry.

Also, certified companies will be recognized as Nova Scotia Live Lobster Ambassadors1 and will have the exclusive right to use the Nova Scotia Seafood Brand for marketing purposes.
Here are some of the advantages provided by certification:

  • This is the world’s only live lobster quality certification program of its kind.
  • Certification clearly signals your company’s commitment to quality.
  • The use of the Nova Scotia Seafood brand is associated with the highest quality standards.
  • It is an opportunity to add higher value to your services.

How much does certification cost?

Many of the services that Université Sainte-Anne provides as part of the program are free for companies. These include documentation, technical support, site visits and training.

Companies shall bear the cost of any pre-assessment not conducted in-house, and the cost of annual audits.

The NSDFA offers financial incentives to cover the cost of pre-assessments and audits2.

Please note that companies have until March 2024 to apply for support from the Atlantic Fisheries Funds for process improvements. You can contact the NSDFA for more information ( – atlanticfisheriesfund.ca) or the Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance (NSSA) , if you are a member of the alliance, for assistance with the applications.


1 Recognized Ambassdor companies will be preferentially promoted by NSDFA for all brand-related product sampling, promotional activities (nationally and internationally), marketing features, and event catering. 

2 Audits and pre-assessments are funded by the NSDFA up to 75% with a limit of $5,000 until 31st March 2022.