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The Daily News Sunday, February 15 2004 (Halifax)

How much meat in that lobster?

Here’s a new invention that will tell you exactly

CHARLOTTETOWN

It’s an invention that carries the rather bland description of U.S patent NO. 6,371,051 – but it could make waves for an industry that last year registered landings of more than 100 million pounds. The Atlantic Veterinary College’s Lobster Science Centre, working with corporate partners, is in the final stages of development for a groundbreaking technology that will make it much easier to measure the meat content of live lobsters – work that is now done by hand. Rick Cawthorn, the lobster science centre’s senior director says the new device, initially referred to as an ultrasonic seafood probe and now marketed under the name Shellfish Sonde, was developed on the island, with AVC researchers and participation from a number of major fisheries-related companies – including one from Nova Scotia, Canadian Gold Seafood, and one from St. John’s, Nfld. , Guigne International Ltd. More than $500,000 has been invested in the technology by the participating partners, said Cawthorn, who praised the project’s biggest backers, Canadian Gold Seafood and Guigne International Ltd., for their unwavering commitment.
He stated there was no reason, once the technology was perfected, that it couldn’t be applied to other valuable shellfish, hence the new name. Ken Campbell, spokesman for the P.E.I Fisherman’s Association, said he isn’t familiar with the technology’s specs, but news of its development has circulated throughout the industry and there is growing interest in its commercial applications. The Shellfish Sonde helps processors determine with greater certainty where to divert live lobsters – to pounds, to the live market or to canning facilities. It reduces much of the guesswork involved in determining a lobster’s meat content, which is something that is appreciated by buyers. The meat content of most lobsters ranges from five per cent of their weight, for lobsters with poor meat quality, to 21 percent for a fully meated lobster. Currently the determination on meat content is made by workers who have years of experience in that field. Canadian Gold Seafood is testing a unit at the company’s live lobster processing operations in Halifax.

– Transcontinental Media

 

The Sunday Herald, February 15 2004 (Halifax)

New gadget measures lobster meat content

By The Canadian Press

CHARLOTTETOWN

Island researchers have developed a new device to make it easier to measure the meat content of live lobsters - work that is currently done by hand. The patented Shellfish Sonde was developed at the Atlantic Veterinary College's Lobster Science Centre. The device, which resembles a movable drill press, helps processors determine with greater certainty where to divert live lobsters - to pounds, to the live market or to canning facilities. The invention clamps on to the live lobster's crusher claw and then ultrasonic soundwaves are transmitted through the lobster. The meat content of most lobsters ranges from five percent of their weight, for lobsters with poor meat quality, to 21 percent for a fully meated lobster. Currently the determination on meat meat content is made by workers who have years of experience in the field. More than $500,000 has been invested in the technology by the participating corporate sponsors, said Rick Cawthorn the lobster science centre's senior director. The partners include Canadian Gold Seafood from Nova Scotia and Guigne International Ltd., of St. John's NFLD. Cawthorn said there was no reason the device couldn't be applied to other valuable shellfish once it is perfected. Ken Campbell, spokesman for the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, said news of the development has circulated throughout the industry and there is growing interest in its commercial applications. Canadian Gold Seafood is the testing ground for the product, applying a pre-production unit to the company's live lobster processing operations in Halifax. "We have proven the technology (works). We are happy with the results," said Doug McRae, the company's owner. It is currently used on small lots of lobsters, providing valuable information to the company and to researchers.


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