The Boston Seafood Show begins today. This is the biggest meeting of buyers in the industry. The stakes are high this year with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Seafood buyers from around the world gather at the Boston show for the next three days. These are 1341 companies from 57 countries.
New Brunswick seafood exports accounted for only $ 1.7 billion in 2017, mostly for snow crab and lobster. It is the second largest exporter after Nova Scotia.
This is a good opportunity to sign very lucrative contracts. Asia seems to be once again a major customer. Nathanael Richard, Corporate Affairs Manager at Westmorland Fisheries, is very optimistic: «The growth we’ve seen in Asia in recent years is still going strong. I would say that it is accelerating in some cases. »
Bill Sheehan, the vice president of marketing at E. Gagnon et Fils Ltée, even thinks he will have a hard time meeting the demand. «In Japan, crab is a luxury product, it is highly sought after. This year we feel that the demand is very aggressive compared to the last years. »
The Seafood Trade Show is also an opportunity to talk about technologies. The industry is changing very quickly and in the Atlantic, more than $ 1 billion will be invested in these new technologies, according to Francis McGuire, the president of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Also present, the premiers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, for whom the important issues are in the negotiations of free trade agreements and the search for new markets.