Moncton, N.B. – With annual exports of $4.7 billion, Atlantic Canada’s fish and seafood industry is a significant contributor to the region’s economy. Sustaining and expanding export markets is the goal of the 31 Atlantic Canadian companies and organizations that exhibited at Seafood Expo North America (SENA) from March 19 to 21 in Boston, Massachusetts.
There they sold seafood, developed global partnerships and promoted the region’s important fish and seafood industry, which will help sustain and create well-paying jobs for Atlantic Canadians.
Although the United States remains Atlantic Canada’s prime market for seafood products, the delegation that attended SENA met and networked with thousands of buyers and suppliers from more than 100 countries in hopes of diversifying their markets and increasing export sales. Attending buyers represent importers, exporters, wholesalers, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and other retail and foodservice companies from around the world.
“In 2016, Nova Scotia was Canada’s leading exporter of seafood to world markets for the second year in a row,” says Keith Colwell, minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Nova Scotia. “At this year’s Seafood Expo North America, we were proud to showcase our new international seafood brand that gives us the tools to continue to grow the value of our exports by communicating a clear message about our seafood’s exceptional taste and premium quality.”
Recognizing the importance of exports to growing the region’s economy, federal ministers and Atlantic premiers came together in January 2017 to agree in principle on a $20 million federal-provincial multi-year Atlantic trade and investment growth strategy. The aim is to double the number of exporting enterprises from Atlantic Canada by 2025.
“The production value of our seafood industry reached a record high in 2016, totaling more than $1.4 billion,” says Steve Crocker, minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Nearly 20 per cent of that total came from our evolving aquaculture sector, which continues to demonstrate significant growth. Participating in this year’s expo helps us expand our markets for the benefit of our communities.”
- A federal-provincial investment of $200,000 was provided through the International Business Development Agreement (IBDA) to help support the business mission.
- In 2016, Atlantic Canada’s worldwide fish and seafood exports were valued at $4.7 billion.
- The United States is Atlantic Canada’s largest export market, representing roughly 65 per cent of seafood trade.
- On March 10, 2017, the Government of Canada announced a new $325 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund aimed at stimulating innovation, with a focus on growing opportunities and adding value to processing to meet market demands for sustainably sourced, high quality fish and seafood products.