The third annual BC Seafood Expo and the 10th annual BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival runs June 9-19, reeling in renowned speakers, award winning chefs and major names in the marine world-wild fisheries and aquaculture world, held during BC Seafood Month.
An exciting addition to the BC Seafood and Shellfish Festival, the Expo (June 9 & 10) at Best Western The Westerly Hotel & Convention Centre in Courtenay explores the value BC’s marine industries and future opportunities in the industry with visitors and exhibitors sailing in from around the globe.
“Originally set up as the BC Shellfish Festival and run by the BC Shellfish Growers Association, it went from a small event ten years ago to a very large one after a few years,” said Dr. Myron Roth, BC Ministry of Agriculture and chair of the BC Seafood Program Committee. The Festival now includes two days of marine Expo with organized sessions, a Buyers Mission and trade show and seven days of tours and interactive events for the public.
“It grew exponentially,” he said. “Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism got involved to help out as the Festival and Expo continued to grow and the ministry joined in last year to support the commerce side.”
Industry focused and science-based, the Expo aims to promote the growth of BC’s seafood production, for both wild fisheries and aquaculture, and to connect producers with international buyers.
“International trade is very important for our seafood industry,” Roth said. “My ministry works closely with the Ministry of International Trade promoting BC Seafood globally and we have a fairly large buyer’s mission coming in from several countries, including Europe, the United States, the Philippines, Japan, China, Korea and Vietnam.”
“The take away from this event is that BC’s seafood is sustainable and the best choice for local and foreign buyers.” He pointed out that creating the conversation around sustainability of both wild and culture fisheries opens up opportunities for industry expansion.
Registrants for the Expo will have access to the tradeshow with industry representatives and marine suppliers, producer site tours.
Thursday’s key note luncheon presentation will be by Chef Barton Seaver, author of five books on sustainable seafood and cooking, director, Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative, Centre for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Change School. Dr. Dick Beamish, emeritus scientist, Pacific Biological Station, and one of Canada’s most decorated fisheries scientists including the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia.
The Expo promises to inform, excite, answer questions, and introduce new components. Tickets can be purchased on line atwww.BCSeafoodExpo.com. Options for participation include full conference pass and trade show booth space.