Coronavirus outbreak reduces demand for N.S. lobster in China
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia Lobster is usually in high demand throughout China, but due to the threat of coronavirus in that country, not as many people are going out to eat.
"It's not a regulatory issue in that lobster isn't banned or anything, it just simply isn't being consumed, so we're not getting repeat orders as we would after lunar new year," said Geoff Irvine of the Lobster Council of Canada. "I mean there's not much we can do about it, the folks in China are just not going out."
In the meantime, Nova Scotia's lobster industry is leaning on other countries were it also does well.
"China is the biggest, but we still sell lots of lobster in Europe, the U.S., and other parts of Asia, and we're continuing to build on that and develop programs to market there," said Irvine.
Lobster is just one Nova Scotia export being affected by what is happening on the ground in China.
Nova Scotia has been trying to strengthen its ties with China on everything from education to entertainment
Tourism is another key industry in trying to make that connection, with the Nova Scotia government trying to attract 50,000 Chinese visitors by 2024.
Two direct charter flights from China will begin flying direct to Halifax Stanfield International in the fall.
"We, as a government, have made tremendous friendships with people over there," said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil.
As long as coronavirus continues to affect people in China, it will have a ripple effect on Nova Scotia's economy.