Exports of Irish seafood to China and Hong Kong rose by 18% valued in excess of €15m in the first six months of 2016. Total exports to these regions in 2015 were close to €29m.

 Bord Bia China Seafood and Fisheries Expo2016

James O’Donnell, Bord Bia; Paul Kavanagh, Irish Ambassador to China and Fan Xubing, Beijing Seabridge Co Ltd

Bord Bia and15 Irish seafood companies are showcasing on the Origin Green pavilion at the biggest seafood fair in Asia, China Seafood and Fisheries Expo, which featuers over 1,300 companies from 45 countries in 22 national pavilions and an expected 29,000 visitors. 

Irish brown carb has been named among the top10 most recognisible foreign seafood trends in China, along with premium shellfish (brown crab, razors and oysters), reflecting a broadening of exports to China from traditional focus on pelagic species.

Environmental credentials of Irish shellfish reflected in Origin Green’s sustainability programme responds to key concerns of Chinese consumers who value Ireland’s safe and clean production systems, and underpins growth in shellfish exports to China of 88% and in value by 132%, says Bord Bia.

“As incomes grow and urbanisation continues in China, a rapidly growing middle class demands ever-greater quantities of imported seafod. Per capita, seafood consumption has risen from 10kg in 1990 to35kg in 2015,” says James O’Donnell, Bord Bia’s Directgor of Asian Markets.

He added that as China’s appetite for finfish and shellfish continues to grow, and with a scarcity of marine resources, Ireland was well positioned to meet the demand.

“Each year we meet with over 50 seafood importers and promote seafood at consumer level working with online suppliers. 2016 has also seen the launch of ‘East Meets West’ – a collaboration with food bloggers and 5-star chefs, to promote the preparation of Irish seafood to Chinese tastes.”