FREDERICTON (GNB) – Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Ross Wetmore will lead a delegation of 12 New Brunswick companies on a seafood trade mission to Asia from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1.

“New Brunswick seafood exports to Asia have increased tremendously over the past few years,” said Wetmore. “To continue this growth, we must energize the private sector. Together with New Brunswick seafood companies, this can be achieved by continuing to produce high quality and sustainable products and by securing new markets.”

China is New Brunswick’s second largest seafood market after the United States. South Korea accounts for New Brunswick’s second largest lobster market, also after the United States.

In South Korea, multiple activities are planned between Oct. 24 and 27 with the highlight being the launch of Canadian Food Promotion Month at Viking’s Wharf Restaurant. During this period, the restaurant will offer premium seafood from New Brunswick.

Following the South Korean seafood promotional events, the delegation will attend the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo, taking place in Qingdao, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.

A New Brunswick reception will take place the day before the opening of the expo. This annual event provides an opportunity to invite the top seafood buyers in China to meet with New Brunswick’s seafood suppliers.

“New Brunswick was the first Canadian province ever to attend the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo 11 years ago,” said Wetmore. “It is important that both the provincial government and our fish and seafood industry have a presence at this event to secure the relationship with the Asian market and to achieve further growth.”

While at the expo, Wetmore will meet with Dominic Barton, the new Canadian Ambassador to China, and join the New Brunswick delegation in meeting with several existing and potential customers to generate new leads and to secure sales for 2020.

The seafood industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy. The province is ranked the second largest exporter of seafood in Canada with export sales totaling $1.7 billion dollars in 2018.

An energized private sector is one of the government’s key priorities. More details on the priorities is available online.