CANADA’S fisheries minister Gail Shea has said a successfully concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will bring significant benefits for the country’s fishing and fish farming industry.
In a statement, she argued it would protect and create Canadian jobs by giving Canadian businesses access to some of the most dynamic global markets.
‘Canada’s prosperity is built on selling our products to the world, including our fish and seafood products known for freshness and quality.
‘Yet in markets like Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, Canadian seafood exports face high tariffs that put our fishers at a severe disadvantage.
‘The TPP presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to knock down those trade barriers and open up a vast, 11-nation market of over 800 million consumers.
‘When Canadian fish and seafood companies can reach new markets and boost their exports, it creates jobs and prosperity across the country, from large urban centres like Vancouver to small fishing villages on the Atlantic coast.
‘Building on the successful completion of the Canada-EU free-trade agreement and the Canada-South Korea free-trade agreement, the TPP presents the fish and seafood sector with another historic opportunity to grow.’
Her comments have been welcomed by the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance and Canada’s seafood farmers who say they support expanding trade opportunities and freer trade via the Trans Pacific Partnership.
A CAIA statement said: ‘Close proximity to the Pacific Rim has made Asia an important export market for the farmed seafood sector in Canada.
‘It is critical that we maintain and enhance our position as a significant ‘player’ in the highly competitive Asian seafood markets, including China, Japan and Vietnam.
‘Farmed seafood in Canada today is proudly pan-Canadian and produced in every province and the Yukon.
‘Aquaculture accounts for $3.1 billion in economic activity, over 15,000 workers and generates one third of the total value of Canada’s fisheries production.’