FREDERICTON, N.B. – New Brunswick has grown to become Canada's largest seafood exporter on the strength of its focus on new markets and innovation.
"New Brunswick seafood exports generate jobs and growth in so many rural communities in our province,” said Premier David Alward. “This important sector is a key focus of our plan to rebuild the economy and create new jobs."
The premier participated in the Boston International Seafood Show this week to promote New Brunswick companies and products to more than 16,000 buyers and sellers of seafood products from more than 90 countries.
"Seafood growers, harvesters and processors in our province are connecting with new markets and driving growth through innovation,” he said. “Our government is committed to working with sector partners to promote New Brunswick's seafood products around the world."
New Brunswick ranked as Canada's largest exporter of seafood for 2012, with exports valued at $967 million, followed by Nova Scotia at $915 million and British Columbia at $871 million.
In recent years, the province has focused on increasing its seafood exports to the Asian and European markets, where there is high demand for New Brunswick's quality seafood.
"Our government is working with industry partners to diversify markets and promote value-added products that will create jobs and strengthen communities," said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp. "We have seen impressive and steady growth in overseas markets, particularly in China."
In addition, a potential free-trade agreement with Europe could mean even more growth.
New Brunswick's seafood processing sector is also an important component of the province's export success. With more than 100 processing plants in the province, nearly all landings, with the exception of live lobster, oysters and sea urchins, undergo some processing in the province, enabling the sector to create a wide range of value-added seafood products.
"Strong exports markets mean more jobs here at home and economic growth," said Olscamp.
The fisheries and aquaculture sectors create about 8,000 jobs in the province, mainly in rural New Brunswick.
New Brunswick lobster continues to be the top export, valued at $475 million, followed by farmed Atlantic salmon at $210 million and snow/queen crab valued at $99 million.