Patrick Swim wants the world to know that the best lobsters come from Atlantic Canada.

“Atlantic Canadian lobster have higher protein, are heartier and travel better,” said the founder ofCanadian Atlantic Lobster Inc. of Bedford in an interview Friday.

Swim is a Cape Sable Island native whose family has been involved in the lobster industry since 1896.

He said Canadian Atlantic Lobster is a marketing company organized as a co-operative that he hopes can bring together the estimated 80,000 people who work in the regional lobster industry to maximize its potential. 

Among his many initiatives is the development of a red Maple Leaf-embossed rubber claw band used to prevent lobsters from attacking each other while they are being shipped or marketed.

“The purpose (of the band) is to create an awareness of the Canadian lobster, to identify that it is different.”

Swim said most Canadian lobster is shipped to the United States but isn’t branded as Canadian.

He said he’s close to having purchase orders for a container load of the Maple Leaf bands that will be sold through Vernon d’Eon Lobster Plugs Ltd. of West Pubnico.

Canadian Atlantic Lobster also produces coded tags that offer consumers the opportunity to win a lobster fishing trip with the person who harvested the lobster they bought.

Canadian Atlantic Lobster is producing an industry publication, All Boats Rise, that encourages readers to buy locally by including money-saving coupons from companies.

It also plans to develop a 175-seat lobster restaurant in Nova Scotia that would be partially owned by lobster fishermen.

“It would be like a museum,” Swim said, and would be decorated with lobster traps and mounted lobsters.

Swim said he started the business because of the recent state of the industry, which he said has been beset by low prices and poor margins that are making life difficult for small coastal communities.

Swim said he respects the Lobster Council of Canada, a Halifax organization with a mandate to enhance the value of the sector in a sustainable fashion by addressing important industry issues.

But he said the industry needs more focused marketing and branding initiatives if it is to prosper.

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