January 11, 2010
BEIJING, CHINA – The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today began a two day visit to the People's Republic of China. This is the first Canadian ministerial trip to China of 2010 and builds on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit in early December to enhance and expand Canada's constructive relationship with China.
Minister Shea will meet with senior officials from China's National Bureau of Oceans, the State Oceanic Administration and the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. Discussions will focus on issues of common interest relating to international fisheries, as well as oceans management. The Minister will also meet with distributors of Canadian fish and seafood products in China, and visit local facilities to learn more about Chinese fisheries operations.
“Our Government is proud of Canadian fish, seafood and seal producers and products and will continue to help expand markets at home and abroad,” said Minister Shea. “I'm pleased to visit China to promote Canada's fishing and sealing industry and advance closer cooperation on issues of mutual interest,” said Minister Shea. “By advancing sustainable fishing practices, scientific research and enhanced trade in fish and seafood we can create greater economic opportunities for Canadian and Chinese industry.”
While in China, Minister Shea will also promote the sustainability, humaneness and quality of Canadian seal products, as well as meet with members of Canada's sealing industry taking part in the 36th China Fur & Leather Products Fair.
“Canadian sealers, processors, artisans and Inuit produce some of the finest quality products in the world and we know China is a strong potential market,” said Minister Shea. “For Canada, sealing is about more than fur. The trade of other seal products such as oils and meat represents a growing share of what is already a multi-million dollar business.”
The China Fur & Leather Products Fair provides an excellent opportunity for Canada's sealing industry to highlight its products, as well as showcase the many other value-added products that can be derived from seals. Canada strongly encourages industry to continue to look for new ways to make the fullest possible use of the animals harvested each year.
China is Canada's second largest trading partner and the world's largest consumer of fish and seafood, representing great potential for Canadian products.
The Government of Canada encourages and supports the development of new markets for Canadian fish and seafood, as well as seal products both at home and internationally. Through these successes, the Government is creating economic opportunities for our industries and coastal communities.
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Minister Shea will be available for call-backs with Canadian media on January 12, 2010 from 8:30am – 9:30am Eastern Time. For more information please contact:
For more information:
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada