JHS FishProducts Applies Innovation, Reaches Markets in Africa

Feb 5, 2010

Technology and innovation in southwest Nova Scotia are helping one company take recycling to the next level.

Tusket-based JHS FishProducts Ltd. is taking fish parts that would not normally be used in North America and turning it into an edible commodity using drying machinery. Dried fish products are a dietary staple in southern Nigeria and the demand for these products is growing.

To support this growth, the company plans to create up to 50 jobs over approximately five years in the Tusket area.

To support JHS FishProducts' growth, the province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc., is investing a $1.4-million term loan to help upgrade facilities and equipment. In addition, NSBI is providing a a five-year payroll rebate to a maximum of $390,000.

Sterling Belliveau, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, made the announcement today, Feb. 5, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris.

"JHS FishProducts is a great example of a company that is using an innovative approach to reduce waste, build a business, and create jobs in our province and we are proud to be working with them," Mr. Belliveau said.

Dried fish has a long shelf life, is rich in Omega 3 and is popular in many countries in Europe and Africa.

"Not many Canadians would become excited at the prospect of dried fish products for supper. In fact, most would throw the head away," said Helgi Már Stefánsson, general director, JHS Fish Products Ltd. "But, with the right technology, fish products that normally would be considered waste can be transformed into a consumer good."

Primary export markets in southwest Nigeria include Lagos, Anambra, and Abia states, with an estimated population of 28 million.

"JHS FishProducts is a great example of how companies are applying innovation to product development to capture greater market share and gain a competitive edge," said Pat Ryan, vice-president and chief operating officer, NSBI.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia's private-sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps businesses in Nova Scotia meet growth potential through advisory services, trade development, financing and venture capital.