OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2010) - The Government of Canada today announced a contribution of up to $41,665 to the Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association (PUHA) and West Coast Green Urchin association (WCGUA) to help harvesters market their products in key international markets.
"This smart investment will enable Canadian sea urchin harvesters to get the word out to key markets about their great products," said Alice Wong, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament (Richmond). "Our Government understands the importance of international market development activities to create opportunities and enhance competitiveness abroad and today we're delivering for the pacific urchin harvesters."
These fisheries are among the most sustainable sea urchin fisheries in the world, incorporating comprehensive and effective fishery management, fish inspection and quality control systems. This funding will enable international market development and export promotion activities and support the associations' long term business strategy, including market research, participating in trade shows and meeting with existing and potential customers in markets to promote sea urchins to key buyers.
"These AgriMarketing funds will help launch and support key new international marketing activities for the industry and help us sell more urchins around the world," said Mike Featherstone, President of the PUHA.
PUHA and WCGUA represent all commercial sea urchin fishing producers, processors and license holders. Their objective is to maintain market share in Japan and diversify into new markets. The primary export market for Canadian sea urchins is Japan ($10 million), where over 70% of harvested red urchin is exported for the sushi industry. The balance is exported to the growing markets of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
This investment is provided through the AgriMarketing Program, which helps national producer and processor associations to increase exports of safe, premium Canadian products around the world. The program helps implement long term international strategies, which include activities such as the expansion of international markets, consumer education and brand promotion.