Canadian Lobster and Snow Crab

Fresh From the Ocean

If your ideal seafood is lobster or snow crab, Canada has a feast for you. Canada is the world's largest exporter, by value, of both. Our clean, cold waters provide a bountiful harvest of the two species and our dedication to quality, freshness and taste means that these Canadian delicacies are prized around the world.

Atlantic lobster, the king of seafood

Canada's Atlantic lobster comes from the salt waters around Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Québec, and is our most valuable and best-known seafood export. People in more than 50 countries enjoy the delicacy, either by itself or in a myriad of gourmet dishes.

Because the lobster catch is so valuable, we have used advanced techniques to monitor the seabed and the lobster population so that the fishery will continue to be sustainable and environmentally sound. Methods of lobster storage and processing are equally advanced; while lobsters are still caught in traps hauled one at a time from the ocean, just as they were a century ago, modern lobster boats are equipped with on-board refrigeration that greatly improves the freshness of the catch. Landed at the dock within hours of being caught, the lobsters go directly to holding tanks for live sale, or to sophisticated packing plants where innovative quick-freezing methods guarantee their freshness and flavour.

Canadian lobster is available live, frozen whole, as lobster tails, as lobster meat and in several other forms. Prepared hot, it's superb in casseroles, bisques, omelettes, soufflés, quiches and crêpes. Cold, it adds elegance to salads, hors d'oeuvres and lobster rolls.

Splendid snow crab

Canadian snow crab is caught in all the Atlantic provinces and in Québec. While it is not the only crab species harvested in Canada, the snow crab catch is by far the largest, making it the cornerstone of our Atlantic crab industry.

Canada's snow crab harvest is highly sustainable because fishers carefully sort the catch and put the females and immature crabs back into the ocean. Only mature males are used in our modern processing plants, where they are quickly precooked and flash-frozen to preserve their ocean-fresh flavour.

As a result of this meticulous care, gourmets worldwide appreciate Canada's frozen and snow crab meat for its rich, sweet taste and the firm texture of its meat. Gently steamed when fresh and presented whole or in sections, it's superb with drawn butter. The cooked claws make elegant hors d'oeuvres, and the meat is excellent when served hot in soups, omelettes and canapés, or cold in crab salad, stuffed mushrooms or crab dip.

Assured quality

Canadian lobster and snow crab are very safe to eat. Canada has one of the world's most rigorous seafood inspection and control systems, overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which sets stringent standards for seafood products and for seafood handling and processing. All establishments that harvest and prepare Canadian seafood for export must be federally registered and must comply strictly with international Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.

The CFIA also inspects our seafood for contaminants and ensures that ongoing testing falls within the guidelines established by Health Canada. These guidelines meet the standards of both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.

Taste the Canadian difference

Succulent and delicious, Canadian lobster and snow crab will delight the most discriminating palate. For further information on Canada's seafood industry, please visit:

Government websites

Industry websites


Trade Statistics - Canadian Lobster

The following tables represent Canada's total trade in a given export commodity based on Statistics Canada data. The product categories represent HS code groupings and have not been modified. In most cases, statistics have been presented at the 6 or 8 digit level. Statistics are presented in Canadian dollars and are complete through year end 2010.

HS Codes

  • 03061100 - Rock lobster & other sea crawfish, frozen in shell or not, incl boiled in shell
  • 03061210 - Lobsters in brine, (Homarus spp), frozen, in shell, including boiled in shell
  • 03061290 - Lobsters, (Homarus spp), nes, frozen, in shell, including boiled in shell
  • 03062100 - Rock lobster & other sea crawfish not frozen, in shell or not, incl boiled in shell
  • 03062210 - Lobsters, (Homarus spp), live
  • 03062290 - Lobsters,(Homarus spp), not frozen, exc live, in shell, including boiled in shell
  • 16053011 - Lobster meat, frozen, simply boiled in water
  • 16053019 - Lobster meat, not frozen, simply boiled in water
  • 16053091 - Lobster, prepared or preserved, in airtight containers
  • 16053099 - Lobster, prepared or preserved, not in airtight containers
Canada's Exports to All Countries ($CAD)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
03061290 297,155,984 347,753,671 272,557,775 381,890,767 28.5%
03062210 422,915,154 369,097,512 378,386,938 345,539,816 -18.3%
16053011 111,275,304 146,948,261 106,079,575 154,631,363 39.0%
03061210 59,447,648 44,092,993 37,585,920 51,243,524 -13.8%
16053099 3,426,490 4,475,730 1,919,594 5,466,617 59.5%
16053019 5,092,083 4,814,362 4,761,174 4,254,162 -16.5%
03062290 1,047,582 1,192,868 1,308,798 1,487,920 42.0%
16053091 5,506,055 2,592,537 848,217 1,458,729 -73.5%
03061100 1,347,449 3,211,309 1,817,000 879,314 -34.7%
03062100 0 4,130 0 5,169 -

Canada's Exports to All Countries (Quantity, KGM)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
03061290 9,397,242 10,744,536 10,392,226 13,891,432 47.8%
03062210 25,159,870 25,311,806 26,605,417 26,949,207 7.1%
16053011 4,082,590 5,158,228 4,386,392 6,105,093 49.5%
03061210 3,119,865 2,249,588 2,464,771 3,009,535 -3.5%
16053099 349,264 411,640 379,739 596,233 70.7%
16053019 181,287 156,177 159,954 144,360 -20.4%
03062290 52,487 43,929 87,227 112,533 114.4%
16053091 180,815 83,179 51,230 49,900 -72.4%
03061100 110,462 176,719 151,549 90,545 -18.0%
03062100 0 216 0 1,544 -

Canada's Monthly Exports to All Countries
(HS Codes 03061100, 03061210, 03061290, 03062100, 03062210, 03062290, 16053011, 16053019, 16053091, 16053099, Value $CAD)
Month 2007 2008 2009 2010
Jan 59,168,773 42,057,482 42,228,827 43,860,090
Feb 49,215,682 44,294,629 38,949,141 40,060,647
Mar 38,921,397 39,434,311 42,393,589 35,432,035
Apr 37,938,530 39,947,653 37,004,950 32,421,574
May 92,454,646 110,761,033 101,996,887 133,256,025
Jun 145,066,251 154,795,206 126,724,039 133,537,337
Jul 84,719,376 89,503,126 60,668,583 88,811,006
Aug 83,086,860 86,194,328 65,972,603 90,715,899
Sep 75,177,516 78,932,152 65,130,049 67,678,013
Oct 67,077,049 66,498,692 58,485,872 77,870,675
Nov 57,269,850 58,878,540 62,306,921 63,998,623
Dec 117,117,819 112,886,221 103,403,530 139,215,457
TOTAL 907,213,749 924,183,373 805,264,991 946,857,381

Canada's Exports to All Countries by Province
(HS Codes 03061100, 03061210, 03061290, 03062100, 03062210, 03062290, 16053011, 16053019, 16053091, 16053099, Value $CAD)
Province 2007 2008 2009 2010
British Columbia 54,139 255,892 44,485 93,347
Manitoba 0 0 0 38,775
New Brunswick 327,673,190 364,060,575 294,613,909 388,844,638
Newfoundland and Labrador 13,926,264 11,825,471 9,885,623 12,807,266
Northwest Territories 41,280 57,463 28,800 14,400
Nova Scotia 388,426,723 353,158,715 354,256,016 330,169,704
Nunavut 15,600 14,848 0 0
Ontario 2,037,088 486,314 810,834 4,634,871
Prince Edward Island 143,106,885 149,707,206 103,051,180 132,003,882
Québec 31,884,772 44,597,723 42,568,533 78,237,736
Saskatchewan 47,808 19,166 5,611 12,762

Canada's Top 10 Lobster Markets
(HS Codes 03061100, 03061210, 03061290, 03062100, 03062210, 03062290, 16053011, 16053019, 16053091, 16053099, Value $CAD)
Country 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
TOTAL: 907,213,749 924,183,373 805,264,991 946,857,381 4.4%
United States 701,991,260 758,089,498 645,342,863 768,410,639 9.5%
Japan 40,291,966 26,449,688 19,868,922 28,679,844 -28.8%
France 23,310,502 24,876,036 19,016,952 24,235,479 4.0%
Belgium 29,715,450 21,737,042 22,047,934 21,872,014 -26.4%
South Korea 14,398,562 13,060,543 15,445,702 17,178,747 19.3%
Hong Kong 6,869,742 6,717,445 9,435,183 15,970,542 132.5%
Netherlands 13,296,849 7,516,777 8,046,652 10,658,692 -19.8%
China 1,608,426 1,668,345 4,919,417 9,812,335 510.1%
United Kingdom 14,698,641 8,869,320 13,040,607 8,267,857 -43.8%
Italy 11,729,941 9,168,178 7,737,733 6,976,361 -40.5%

Trade Statistics - Canadian Snow Crab

The following tables represent Canada's total trade in a given export commodity based on Statistics Canada data. The product categories represent HS code groupings and have not been modified. In most cases, statistics have been presented at the 6 or 8 digit level. Statistics are presented in Canadian dollars and are complete through year end 2010.

HS Codes

  • 03061410 - Crabs, snow (Queen), frozen, in shell or not, including boiled in shell
  • 16051011 - Crab, snow (Queen), prepared or preserved, in airtight containers
  • 16051091 - Crab, snow (Queen), prepared or preserved, not in airtight containers
Canada's Exports to All Countries ($CAD)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
03061410 513,870,999 508,529,110 493,118,816 451,365,187 -12.2%
16051091 5,455,707 4,847,595 3,604,900 6,627,516 21.5%
16051011 163,987 5,518,031 5,339,088 5,002,548 2,950.6%

Canada's Exports to All Countries (Quantity, KGM)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
03061410 55,569,335 54,411,301 57,678,537 49,481,370 -11.0%
16051011 15,981 571,594 621,101 566,617 3,445.6%
16051091 604,940 336,546 335,051 528,431 -12.6%

Canada's Monthly Exports to All Countries
(HS Codes 03061410, 16051011, 16051091, Value $CAD)
Month 2007 2008 2009 2010
Jan 2,047,922 2,051,587 4,573,577 3,151,709
Feb 1,491,034 2,222,809 3,920,687 3,165,520
Mar 652,926 1,609,831 4,438,634 1,410,851
Apr 23,326,630 19,148,244 37,473,678 30,211,924
May 180,647,805 109,751,029 141,611,062 127,764,262
Jun 143,124,103 195,888,677 158,390,768 135,023,270
Jul 106,006,123 98,062,297 90,551,065 103,749,850
Aug 36,912,648 43,391,257 31,762,314 41,684,893
Sep 12,595,272 20,939,186 13,439,728 7,352,450
Oct 6,793,421 14,600,808 8,112,522 5,800,692
Nov 2,763,781 7,795,146 4,850,164 2,795,667
Dec 3,129,028 3,433,865 2,938,605 884,163
TOTAL 519,490,693 518,894,736 502,062,804 462,995,251

Canada's Exports to All Countries by Province
(HS Codes 03061410, 16051011, 16051091, Value $CAD)
Province 2007 2008 2009 2010
Alberta 113,098 0 0 0
British Columbia 1,869,914 1,567,312 160,115 20,525
Manitoba 0 0 114,499 36,189
New Brunswick 88,559,249 91,715,071 75,058,176 51,556,373
Newfoundland and Labrador 267,142,152 269,092,677 270,321,438 269,516,061
Nova Scotia 76,467,903 78,631,000 72,753,900 76,545,667
Ontario 1,865,361 1,032,185 134,857 21,838
Prince Edward Island 5,686,725 7,337,414 5,270,659 3,832,180
Québec 77,786,291 69,334,897 78,249,160 61,466,418
Saskatchewan 0 184,180 0 0

Canada's Top 10 Snow Crab Markets
(HS Codes 03061410, 16051011, 16051091, Value $CAD)
Country 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
TOTAL: 519,490,693 518,894,736 502,062,804 462,995,251 -10.9%
United States 383,255,894 351,111,586 399,427,217 345,683,789 -9.8%
China 78,236,795 107,068,891 62,615,614 77,162,013 -1.4%
Japan 47,672,998 44,215,873 29,574,654 30,358,792 -36.3%
Netherlands 3,218,461 1,707,506 2,206,025 3,434,430 6.7%
Vietnam 2,426,022 3,261,878 2,588,119 2,637,644 8.7%
Thailand 3,515,493 5,120,056 2,875,591 2,391,820 -32.0%
Hong Kong 346,946 942,899 861,097 457,065 31.7%
South Korea 486,484 3,901,091 1,222,515 434,542 -10.7%
Indonesia 0 154,365 0 419,833 -
France 221,891 1,026 470,000 10,439 -95.3%