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Seafood show largest ever with consumption of fish on the rise

Canadians return to the newly rebranded seafood expo North America in a big way

Seafood sales are swimming along as Canadian consumers are eating more fish per year now than they have since 2008.

This fact was apparent at the 2014 Seafood Expo North America held last week March 16-18 in Boston.

The event, formerly known as the International Boston Seafood Show, is the largest seafood trade event in North America, featured more than 800 exhibitors showing a wide variety of seafood, seafood products, services and equipment.

In 2013, Canada exported $4.4 billion worth of fish and seafood products, with the Atlantic region accounting for about 70% of that amount.

About 20,000 buyers and other seafood professionals from more than 100 countries walked the show floor, which featured companies from Estonia, Maldives and Myanmar for the first time.

Agri-Food Export Group Quebec-Canada, Aqualine Seafoods, Atlantic Shellfish Products, and The Lobster Council of Canada and 20 other Canadian groups had booths showing their latest product offerings.

On the retail side, Loblaw, Sobey’s and Metro were among the Canadian retailers spotted at the event.

The Seafood Excellence Awards winners this year were King & Prince Seafood, which won the “Best New Retail” award for their Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp(photo at right).

High Liner Foods won the “Best New Foodservice” award for their Flame-Seared Guinness Barbecue Glazed Atlantic Salmon. The awards recognize the product leaders in the North American seafood market.

See list of finalists here.

One of the big topics for Canadian seafood companies at the show was lobster prices, which were at their lowest in last year in more than a decade and resulted in strikes by fishermen.

Prince Edward Island Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley, who led a trade mission of 23 seafood companies from Atlantic Canada, is expecting higher prices this coming season.

“They tell me this year we’re sort of out of that recession, so they’re picking up orders, which is good,” he said.

Good news for the lobstermen and the seafood companies, but not for Canadian consumers, who enjoyed a year full of cheap lobsters and were hoping for another.

Next year's show will be held March 15-17, 2015 in Boston.

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