West Coast Fishermen Hail Trans Pacific Trade Agreement

VANCOUVER, Oct. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - "Japan's 127 million people eat 27 kg of seafood per capita annually, far more than any other country, so the TPP agreement in principle signed today is essential for the West Coast seafood industry", according to Christina Burridge, executive director of the BC Seafood Alliance.  "And not just Japan, but Vietnam, Malaysia and, perhaps eventually, China as well."

Seafood is BC's top agrifood export with wild seafood accounting for 2/3 of almost $1billion in seafood exports.   Japan alone consumed $108 million of BC seafood in 2014, mainly herring roe, sablefish, prawns, sea urchins and salmon.   Japanese tariffs on BC seafood range from 3.5-11% while Vietnam currently imposes tariffs of 18-34%.  Chinese duties and tariffs on BC seafood are also in the 30% range.

"Fishermen believe that TPP will secure our Pacific markets—the ones most likely to expand over the next decade," she said, "elimination of tariffs will mean new business opportunities up and down the Coast, especially if China eventually joins the partnership"

The BC Seafood Alliance is an umbrella association whose members represent about 95% of the value of wild seafood in BC worth some $850 million annually.

SOURCE BC Seafood Alliance

For further information: Christina Burridge, BC Seafood Alliance, 604.377.9213; cburridge@telus.net

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