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Canadian Aquaculture Industry Reports Healthy Exports in 2015

Canada Farmed Seafood Saw Increased Demand in Asia

OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 29, 2016 – The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance today reported healthy farmed seafood export numbers for 2015, and new demand in Asia.

Trade data released this week show that the volume of exports for all aquaculture products was over 100,000 tonnes.

The value of our industry’s exports in 2015 was just under $770 million.

“2015 was a year of sustainable and responsible growth for farmed seafood in Canada," said Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance Executive Director, Ruth Salmon. "Last year we saw strong demand for Canadian farmed seafood in the U.S. and new demand in Asia. We now in fact, have greater demand than we have supply."

Sustainable & Responsible Growth

By species, the volume of salmon exports reached almost 78,000 tonnes, for a value of just under $600 million. Exports were up in all key markets including the U.S., China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Farmed oyster exports fell slightly in 2015 by volume, but the value of exports increased almost 17%. Strong growth was seen in exports to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

For farmed mussels, while the overall volume of exports was down about 13%, due mainly to extremely harsh weather across Atlantic Canada that affected harvests in early 2015, the value of farmed mussel exports was up from 2014. 

“As global demand for fresh and healthy farmed seafood continues to grow, Canada is uniquely positioned to deliver the highest quality and most highly valued products," added Salmon.

Meeting Future Global Demand

A 2013 report from the Conference Board of Canada, explored means to improve economic viability of Canada’s seafood industries in meeting growing global demand for fish and seafood. Among the authors' recommendations was the need for a federal Aquaculture Act to achieve increased growth, employment, investment income and export opportunities.

In 2015 a Senate Committee undertook a study of aquaculture in Canada. They held 34 public hearings, heard from 138 witnesses, and hundreds of written submissions. The Senators visited 23 Canadian regions in six provinces, and travelled to Norway and Scotland. In a unanimous report all members of the committee agreed that Canada is uniquely positioned for oceans of new opportunities in aquaculture and called for a federal National Aquaculture Act.

“A new science-based regulatory framework for the farmed seafood sector remains vital to continued innovation and meeting future demand,” added Salmon. “As we grow to meet new opportunities, we remain committed to global leadership and responsible and sustainable best practices.”