Atlantic fish and seafood companies casting a wide net to increase exports

News Release

Delegates to North America’s largest seafood expo working to grow sales, market opportunities and jobs for Atlantic Canada’s seafood industry

March 17, 2017 – Moncton, NB – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

With annual exports of $4.7 billion, Atlantic Canada’s fish and seafood industry is a significant contributor to the region’s economy. Sustaining and expanding export markets is the goal of the 31 Atlantic Canadian companies and organizations exhibiting at Seafood Expo North America (SENA) from March 19 to 21 in Boston, Massachusetts. They will be selling seafood, developing global partnerships and promoting the region’s important fish and seafood industry – which will help sustain and create well-paying jobs for Atlantic Canadians.

Although the United States remains Atlantic Canada’s prime market for seafood products, the delegation attending SENA will be meeting and networking with thousands of buyers and suppliers from over 100 countries in the hope of diversifying their markets and increasing their export sales. Attending buyers represent importers, exporters, wholesalers, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, and other retail and foodservice companies from around the world.

Recognizing the importance of exports to growing the region’s economy, federal ministers and Atlantic premiers came together in January 2017 to agree in principle on a $20 million federal-provincial multi-year Atlantic trade and investment growth strategy as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The aim is to double the number of exporting enterprises from Atlantic Canada by 2025.


“Atlantic Canada’s high-quality fish and seafood is recognized worldwide. Because of this success, the industry supports over 52,000 jobs in Atlantic Canada, many of them in rural and coastal communities. The Government of Canada is working closely with our provincial partners to promote Atlantic Canadian seafood in the global marketplace. Together, we aim to increase exports, help create and sustain thousands of jobs and foster economic growth across the region.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Sciences and Economic Development,
and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

“New Brunswick has some of the world’s best seafood products. Promoting these companies and their world-renowned products in Boston has an enormous impact on our ability to attract new customers, expand our markets and create more jobs for New Brunswickers.”
– The Hon. Rick Doucet, Minister, Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, New Brunswick

“In 2016, Nova Scotia was Canada’s leading exporter of seafood to world markets for the second year in a row. At this year’s Seafood Expo North America, we’re proud to showcase our new international seafood brand that gives us the tools to continue to grow the value of our exports by communicating a clear message about our seafood’s exceptional taste and premium quality.”
- The Honourable Keith Colwell, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Nova Scotia

“Prince Edward Island may be small in size but we’re big on ambition and our Island seafood companies continue to deliver the highest quality seafood products to customers around the globe. Seafood Expo North America is a great opportunity for our companies to promote their exceptional products on the international stage and develop new and expanded markets. The Province of Prince Edward Island will continue to seek out ways we can work together to expand our markets, grow our economy and showcase what the Island has to offer."
- The Honourable Alan McIsaac, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Prince Edward Island

“The 2017 Seafood Expo North America is an important event which provides a great opportunity to promote our high quality seafood products to fishing industry representatives and other seafood professionals from around the world. The production value of our seafood industry reached a record high in 2016, totaling over $1.4 billion.  Nearly 20 per cent of that total came from our evolving aquaculture sector, which continues to demonstrate significant growth. Participating in this expo will help us expand our markets for the benefit of our communities.”
- The Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Quick Facts

  • A federal-provincial investment of $200,000 is being provided through the International Business Development Agreement (IBDA) to help support the business mission 

  • In 2016, Atlantic Canada's worldwide fish and seafood exports were valued at $4.7 billion.  

  • The United States is Atlantic Canada's largest export market representing roughly 65% of seafood trade.  

  • On March 10, 2017, the Government of Canada announced a new $325 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund aimed at stimulating innovation, with a focus on growing opportunities and adding value to processing to meet market demands for sustainably sourced, high quality fish and seafood products.  

Associated Links


Natalie Belliveau
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Jean Bertin
Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries
Government of New Brunswick

Krista Higdon
Media Relations Advisor
Department of Fisheries and Agriculture
Government of Nova Scotia

April Gallant
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Government of Prince Edward Island

Craig Renouf
Media Relations Manager
Department of Fisheries and Land Resources
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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