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A leading seafood analyst says the Japanese earthquake and tsunami could affect Canadian exports. (CBC)

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan could cause upheaval in Canada's seafood industry, a fisheries marketing expert warns.

John Sackton, the U.S.-based editor of Seafood.com and a prominent analyst of the seafood business, said last week's devastation in Japan is sure to have an effect on fish exports.

"The country [may become] so focused on relief and rebuilding that they're not really thinking more about the high-end goods, and there's less consumption of gift packs and less eating out at restaurants," Sackton told CBC News.

Japan purchases about 40 per cent of the crab landed in Newfoundland and Labrador, for instance. Crab has been by far the most lucrative part of the province's seafood industry since cod stocks collapsed in the early 1990s.