Aquaculture for all

Canadian Mussel Exports To US Increase

Economics +1 more

CANADA - Canadian fresh blue cultured mussel exports to the United States grew by 10 per cent in 2010.

This figure is based on import data recently provided by the United States National Marine Fisheries Service, and lists Canadian mussels as the most imported variety of mussels - overtaking New Zealand mussels for the first time ever.

"Surpassing New Zealand in mussels exported to the US market is an important milestone for us," said Terry Ennis, President of the Mussel Industry Council of North America.

"For many years New Zealand has led in sales, importing frozen cooked mussels on the half shell. What we're seeing now is the market respond to our product that is eco-friendly and available live and fresh all year round."

Canadian mussel exports to the US were worth $27.4 million in 2010, up from nearly $26.7 million in 2009. The figures from the U.S. indicate Canada led mussel imports in 2010 with 47 per cent of the market compared with 42 per cent for New Zealand. This is the first time the value of Canadian mussels has exceeded those imported from New Zealand.

"We believe the significant growth of fresh Canadian mussel exports to the US is based on three main factors: the quality and appeal of fresh live mussels, the recession, and increased marketing efforts," said Linda Duncan, executive director of the Mussel Industry Council.

Fresh Canadian mussels are exported to the US during the entire year. The quality of a fresh product that is available daily has led to growth in consumer demand explains Ms Duncan.

"Our mussels really are a better choice than the frozen product," said Ms Duncan. "Fresh mussels stand on their own with a wonderful taste that consumers are enjoying at restaurants across the country and at home where they are easy to prepare."

Fresh mussels provided a price point matched for the recession. When compared to other seafood, both consumers and the restaurant industry responded to the value proposition of fresh blue mussels.

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