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Opportunity for Expansion

Global Need for Aquaculture

Global demand for fish will reach 150-160 million tonnes by 2030. Yet capture fisheries can only provide 80-100 million tonnes per year on a sustainable basis. Without aquaculture, a global shortfall of approximately 50-80 million tonnes of fish and seafood is projected.1

Since 1970, global aquaculture production, including aquatic plants, has grown at an annual rate of 9% to reach 66.7 million tonnes (valued at US$ 85.9billion) in 20062. This growth rate is greater than any other food producing system. Yet aquaculture production must expand at an even greater rate to meet the growing demand for fish. Aquaculture now represents 36% of the volume and 50% of the value of global fish landings, including non-food sources; in terms of food production, aquaculture accounted for 47% of the aquatic food produced from our oceans and lakes in 2006 and likely exceeds 50% in the present day.   By 2030, more than 50% of all fish and seafood products will originate from aquaculture.3

Potential of Canadian Aquaculture

With the world’s longest coastline, the largest freshwater system, and the world’s largest tidal range, aquaculture is a natural choice for Canada. Canada could therefore play a key role in meeting the world’s future seafood needs. Canadian aquaculture production could reach 577,000 tonnes valued at $2.8 billion by 2010-2015.  Achieving or exceeding this target would result in the following4:

  • Value-added processing and revenues from related supplies and services could push the industry value beyond $6.6 billion.
  • Aquaculture could provide sustainable, year-round employment for more than 47,000 people living in coastal, rural and Aboriginal communities.
  • The Canadian industry would have the opportunity to export aquaculture expertise (in the form of equipment, knowledge and services) to the global market.
  • Growing aquaculture output would have an increasingly positive effect on Canada’s balance of trade.

Agriculture: Towards 2015/2030. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2002.
2The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2008. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Release date March 2009. http://www.fao.org/fishery/statistics/global-aquaculture-production/en

(for 2006 figures refer to: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/a0699e/a0699e.pdf )
3,4Achieving the Vision. Report of Office of the Commissioner for Aquaculture Development. Oceans and Fisheries Canada. 2003.


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