11/20/2013 10:36 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Pasteurized Lobster Could Open New Markets

Maarten Wouters via Getty Images
P.E.I. is a step closer to marketing lobster that will last up to a month after it is cooked, and that could make it much easier to sell outside of the province.

Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley told CBC News the Royal Star fish plant in Tignish is working on a process to pasteurize lobster, an idea originally invented in Ireland. The Island has been working on its own process for years.

MacKinley said under the plan the Island lobster would then be shipped to Calgary to be distributed by Sysco Canada.

The normal shelf life of a whole cooked lobster is about 72 hours.

"So now we get 25-day shelf life. We're 55 hours away from Calgary by tractor-trailer, so you can pull into the terminal in Calgary and have it on the street the next day," said MacKinley.

 All our studies and everything, we did a lot of studies and information on this, is that people want lobsters cooked in the shell."

A taste test of pasteurized lobster in Charlottetown in July 2012 did not go well, but MacKinley said a more recent taste test showed people enjoyed the taste. An official announcement is expected soon, including how the project will be funded.

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