NEW BEDFORD — City seafood suppliers should take advantage of
Europe's strong and growing market for fish, lobster, scallops and other seafood
products, according to seafood export specialists.
European countries are becoming more dependent on seafood
imports due to increased consumption and declining harvests, said Stephane
Vrignaud, a U.S. Department of Commerce fishery trade specialist to the European
Mr. Vrignaud joined a panel of export specialists who advised
local and regional seafood suppliers about European export opportunities Friday
at the Quest Center.
The seminar, which drew about 50 participants, was sponsored
by Food Export USA-Northeast and the Massachusetts Export Center.
New Bedford seafood exporters can find markets for live
lobster, squid and scallops in Spain and Italy; and for mackerel, squid and
lobster in Portugal, said David McClellan of Food Export USA-Northeast.
In France, demand for both fresh and frozen U.S. scallops has
surged, said Nelly Masson of Markonsult.
Odile Texier, who chairs France's National Association of
Foreign Trade for Frozen Food Products, warned that her organization is now
monitoring for unfair practices in seafood and aquaculture products such as
soaking fish products in water and using polyphosphates, a chemical additive.
"We in the seafood import industry would like to continue to
improve our imports from the U.S. but we want it to go through the best
practices," she said.
High tariffs, complex legislation and ever-changing rules are
among the challenges seafood exporters may face when sending products to
countries in the European Union, Mr. Vrignaud said.
Tom Tweedy of Marder Trawling, Inc. in New Bedford said the
seminar provided helpful ways to navigate the complex world of international
His company is interested in increasing its scallop exports,
New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang said the city is "looking for
ways to continue to expand the seafood industry.
"Our goal is to be able to say we provide the safest, highest
quality seafood in the world," he said.