SOME of Scotland's biggest seafood companies are hoping to capture more of the Japanese market by attending a major trade show this week.
The Japanese Seafood Expo, held between Wednesday and Friday in Tokyo this week, is expected to attract around 30,000 delegates including buyers from wholesalers and distributors as well as those in the retail and restaurant trades.
Shetland Catch, The Scottish Salmon Company, St James' Smokehouse and Denholm Seafoods are among the firms coming together to showcase seafood from this country for the first time.
The Scottish produce on show, including salmon, brown crab, langoustines, mackerel and herring, will be prepared in western and Scottish culinary styles but there will be also demonstrations showing how it can be used in traditional Japanese cuisine.
Food and drink exports to Japan were worth £91 million in 2012, the most recently available figure, although whisky made up more than £70m of that.
Graham Young, managing director of Seafood Scotland, said: "Japan is such an important market for the Scottish seafood industry.
"Not only is it a massive consumer of seafood, but it is also a trend setting nation for food culture across Asia and as such, it is important that Scottish seafood is on their radar, and they are aware of the world-class product we can export.
"The Japanese look for the highest quality, and Scotland can certainly deliver."
In addition to attending the expo the Scottish contingent are also hosting a private lunch for the All Japanese Chefs Association (AJCA), which counts some of the country's most prominent cooks among its membership. A small group of AJCA chefs visited Scotland last year.
Craig Anderson, from The Scottish Salmon Company, said: "Building better relations with the discerning Japanese market, and better still - letting them taste the product, is a huge opportunity for the Scottish seafood industry."