“One year ago, I came to China to begin this process. The Chinese market holds great potential for the Canadian seal industry,” said Minister Shea. “One year later, I am thrilled to demonstrate our Government’s continued support of the thousands of Canadian families in coastal and northern communities who will directly benefit from this new market access arrangement with China.”
The Government of Canada worked closely with Chinese officials to establish the necessary export conditions for edible seal products. The new market access arrangement is a direct result of these negotiations.
“Canadian sealers and processors produce some of the finest quality products in the world,” said Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture. “Opening the Chinese market presents a great opportunity and will hopefully be a real profit boost for our producers.”
This arrangement caps off a successful few days of promoting the Canadian fish and seafood industry in China. Minister Shea was joined on the trip by the Honourable Daniel Shewchuk, Nunavut Environment Minister and the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
The federal government also hosted a seafood promotion event to showcase Canadian fish and seafood products to Chinese retailers in Beijing. The menu, prepared by Canadian chef
Trevor Scott of Beijing’s Vin Restaurant, included Atlantic lobster, crab, salmon and oysters.
“Canada is a leader in the production of high quality, safe, fresh, nutritious and sustainable fish and seafood,” said Minister Shea. “China is the world’s largest consumer of fish and seafood. It is a market that represents great prospects for Canadian harvesters and processors and great growth potential for our exports.”
During her visit, Minister Shea also met with her counterpart from China’s State Oceanic Administration, following up on the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Canada and China on marine science cooperation. Both partners have agreed to hold the first meeting of the MOU joint committee during the summer of this year.
China is the third largest export market of Canadian seafood products with an average of over $300 million in exports annually. Canadian seafood products rank 5th in terms of value of total China imports, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
The vast majority of Canada’s exports to the People’s Republic of China (up to 90%) consist of crab, shrimp, Greenland turbot, hake, herring, geoduck, capelin and mackerel.