News Releases

Agreement is signed to expedite BC seafood exports in China

July 5, 2016

For Immediate Release

Comox Valley, BC – On June 6, 2016 at the BC Seafood Expo, Gfresh and the China Certification and Inspection Group Canada (CCIC Canada) signed a strategic cooperative agreement to fast-track seafood exports when entering the Chinese market. Currently, China customs detains and inspects up to 50 per cent of fresh seafood products that enter the country. This can take up to 4-5 days and results in a financial loss and reduced freshness and quality when the product is released. This move will result in significantly increased trade with China and the creation of more local jobs.

“This year’s BC Seafood Expo conference and trade show brought together leading aquaculture businesses, suppliers, seafood and shellfish producers, chefs, exporters, industry associations and experts. Expo attendees attended industry seminars, demonstrations, tours and a sold out trade show. Of particular interest were the B2B meetings arranged with buyers from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Germany and the US, providing the opportunity for local BC producers to make valuable connections and to grow international awareness of the BC seafood industry. BC exports about a billion dollars of sustainable seafood each year, and the Expo is one more way we can promote our great-tasting, trusted products to people here, and around the world,” said Dr. Myron Roth, BC Ministry of Agriculture Aquaculture and Seafood Specialist and Chair of the Expo Program Committee.

During the Expo, over 30 experts presented, including Dr. Dick Beamish, Barton Seaver, Michael Denike, Richard Hardy and Dr. Tony Farrell. As well, over 35 international seafood buyers from Asia, Europe and the United States were hosted in the Comox Valley by the BC Ministry of International Trade mission.

The Comox Valley Economic Development Society also worked closely with the BC Ministry of Agriculture through its Buy Local Program and the Provincial and Federal Governments Growing Forward 2 program in an effort to further promote BC seafood. In total these programs contributed $204,000 to various events and programs related to the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival and Expo.

“The Expo was an excellent addition to the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival. Since the Comox Valley Economic Development Society got involved, the event has grown exponentially,” Roth commented.

“More than 60 per cent of BC’s shellfish is produced on Vancouver Island. Having the opportunity to host international seafood buyers during a tour of our facilities was incredibly valuable for future exporting,” stated Brian Yip, General Manager of Fanny Bay Oysters.

“BC’s shellfish farming industry accounts for over 1,000 full-time jobs in BC and is a huge economic driver that provides over $33 million in farm-gate sales each year. Events like the BC Seafood Expo allow us to promote the growth of BC’s shellfish industry at an international level,” said Darlene Winterburn, Executive Director of the BC Shellfish Growers Association.

“There is a big appetite for B.C farm-raised salmon in Canada, but our biggest opportunity lies in export markets, particularly Asia. The BC Ministry of International Trade mission brought international buyers to the Expo, which was a big opportunity for our members to show their world class farming operations and have representatives from many key markets taste what BC has to offer,” commented Jeremy Dunn, Executive Director of BC Salmon Farmers Association.

The Comox Valley Economic Development Society celebrated the 10th anniversary of the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival this June with its biggest and most successful event yet. This year the Festival saw a significant increase in ticket sales, participation and attendance at the expo and trade events. For more information, photos, collateral, and articles from the BC Shellfish and Seafood Expo, visit

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