Canadian Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, on a trade mission in Beijing, has signed an agreement with China to export seal products, a move that Inuit groups help will fill the gap left by a European Union ban imposed in 2010.
Nunavut Environment Minister Daniel Shewchuk and Newfoundland Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman were also on hand, the CBC reported.
“I’m pleased that the Chinese government has seen through the myths and distortions that have been widely disseminated by animal rights extremists in other parts of the world, such as Europe,” National Inuit leader Mary Simon told Reuters.
Canada has said the EU ban affects around C$5.4 million of ($5.5 million) business, according to Reuters. Officials did not estimate the potential value of seal product sales to China.
Canadian officials told Reuters that China is already Canada’s third largest export market for seafood products.