P.E.I. looks to Japan for seafood exports

Published on March 25, 2013
The Morning Mist heads out into the gulf.
Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

There’s growing potential for P.E.I. seafood in the Japanese market, says Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley.

He says a  recent visit by the Canadian trade commissioner for Japan provided an opportunity to promote the high quality and value of P.E.I. seafood products.

The trade commissioner, Mayumi Nakamura, is responsible for meat, fish and seafood exports to Japan. She was in Prince Edward Island as part of a tour of Atlantic Canada. She met with seafood processors, industry representatives, government officials and toured a mussel plant and Canada’s Smart Kitchen. 

MacKinley says seafood exports to Japan from Prince Edward Island are growing steadily, with Japan now the province’s second largest seafood export market by value. It is the fourth largest export market for lobster and the second largest export market for mussels based on volume.

Other seafood exports include bluefin tuna, herring roe and snow crab. The total value of exports in 2012 was approximately $6 million.

MacKinley is confident those numbers can grow. Last November, he led a trade delegation to Asia where they visited the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, one of the largest markets in the world.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister George Webster also attended the meeting. He said there is significant potential to increase exports of agricultural products, such as soybeans, which are already exported to Japan.

“In the past several years, Prince Edward Island has experienced significant progress exporting food grade soybeans to Japan,” he said.  “With newly expanded beef access to Japan, we will continue to pursue further export opportunities for agricultural products.”

Food products account for more than 60 per cent of Prince Edward Island’s exports to international markets.