FREDERICTON (GNB) – A number of New Brunswick companies have reported good results following their participation in the 20th European Seafood Exposition, held April 24-26 in Brussels, Belgium.

"The contribution of the fishing and processing sectors is essential for a stronger provincial economy," said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp. "Our participation in such a fair is key to increasing the presence of New Brunswick companies on European markets, building partnerships and concluding new agreements."

Several New Brunswick companies had good success, particularly with products such as lobster, shrimp and pelagic resources; oysters and sturgeon caviar are starting to penetrate the European market as well. In addition, representatives from provincial companies were able to talk with Canadian trade officers from European countries to gain a better understanding of that market.

"The new Canada-European Union trade agreement comes into effect soon, and that may help to increase New Brunswick seafood exports to the European market," Olscamp said.

Ten or so New Brunswick companies were at the exposition as exhibitors in the New Brunswick pavilion or under their own banner or as participating companies. Those companies included True North Salmon Co. Ltd.; Gourmet Chef Packers Ltd.; Breviro Caviar Inc.; Trico Seafood Inc.; Partner Seafood Inc.; Orion Seafood Group; Unic Marketing Group; La Maison Beausoleil inc.; Belle Bay Products Ltd.; Association Coopérative des Pêcheurs de l'Île ltée; and LA Trading Co. Inc.

The provincial government helped to promote New Brunswick's seafood sector at the fair by contributing funding for the pavilion in collaboration with the participating companies.

The exposition is the largest seafood fair in the world. More than 25,000 large buyers and sellers from around the world gather under one roof for three days to discuss supply, forge ties with industry specialists and do business.

The fair brings together more than 1,600 exhibitors from 80 countries representing all aspects of the industry: fresh, canned, frozen and value-added products; storage, processing and handling equipment; and a multitude of related services, including freight handling, insurance and information technologies.

The most recent Fisheries and Oceans Canada data value New Brunswick exports at more than $833 million, an increase of $50 million between 2010 and 2011. Lobster, snow crab, salmon and herring are the most popular species.