Sourcing Lobster

Canadian Lobster is considered one of the world’s premier seafoods and is consistently in high demand. Canada currently supplies more than half of the world’s supply of hard-shelled Atlantic Lobster. The very nature of the harvest, where seasonal and regional fisheries dictate a fluctuating supply, means that there are times of the year when the product is harder to source than others. Typically, the lobster season in Atlantic Canada peaks twice year, once in the spring (April-June) and another in December.

Live lobster is generally available year-round from processors, distributors or from lobster holding pounds. Great strides have been made in holding technology, enabling access to high-quality live lobster throughout the year.

In terms of processed lobster products, the tradition in Atlantic Canada is to freeze lobster as quickly as possible after it is harvested. In most instances, lobster taken from traps in the early morning is offloaded from fishing boats directly to the processor. It is not unusual for the lobster to be processed and frozen within 4-8 hours of being taken from the sea.

The greatest challenge for processors is determining how the lobster will be processed. Lobster can be frozen whole cooked (or blanched), provided in various meat forms and can be offered in a variety of packages (and sizes). The processor must speculate on market demand before the lobster is landed. Those who place their orders early will have a guaranteed supply of lobster packed how they want early in the season.

Canadian Lobster is one of the world’s premier seafoods and is in high demand year round.


Here are some steps to help you source a good, steady supply of succulent Canadian Lobster year-round:

  • Query your seafood distributor about product specifications, their stability of supply, contracts with processors and seasonal availability. Your supplier should know lobster, be willing to discuss handling and storage techniques and be able to answer your questions. If you do not have a supplier contact us and we will assist you in your search.
  • If outside of Canada, contact the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate. Trade Officers are pleased to help you source products. Also, they are very knowledgeable about the rules and regulations that are applicable to your country, and transportation options.
  • When approaching a distributor or processor, discuss different Canadian Lobster products available before you make a final decision. Canadian suppliers are eager to work with you to meet your individual needs. Many will custom pack your specifications, but you must have your order in place before the short processing season, so plan ahead. Ordering early will save aggravation, money and ensure a consistent supply.
  • If one distributor cannot fill your requirements, try another. The search may take a bit of time, but connecting with the right supplier is worth the effort. Again, contact us if you need assistance in this area. We will be pleased to help you find the supplier that meets your needs.