May 31, 2016
Canadian seafood 'in great demand'
Canada enjoyed a healthy farmed seafood sector in 2015, even as fish-product supplies are being overwhelmed by demand, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) said.
Trade data showed that the volume of exports for all aquaculture products last year was over 100,000 tonnes, while the value of exports was just under $770 million.
"2015 was a year of sustainable and responsible growth for farmed seafood in Canada," said Ruth Salmon, CAIA executive director. "Last year we saw strong demand for Canadian farmed seafood in the US and new demand in Asia. We now, in fact, have greater demand than we have supply."
By species, salmon exports reached almost 78,000 tonnes, for a value of just under $600 million. Exports were up in all key markets including the US, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The volume of farmed mussel exports was down 13%, due mainly to extremely harsh weather across Atlantic Canada in early 2015, while value 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," Salmon said.
A Senate committee that undertook a study of aquaculture in Canada last year said in its report—issued after holding 34 public hearings that heard 138 witnesses and received hundreds of written submissions; visiting 23 Canadian regions in six provinces; and travelling to Norway and Scotland—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," Salmon said. "As we grow to meet new opportunities, we remain committed to global leadership and responsible and sustainable best practices."