Aquaculture operations in Canada vary depending upon the species being farmed, the environment being used (e.g., marine, freshwater), and the culture technologies being applied (e.g., land based, water based). Atlantic and chinook salmon, trout, Arctic char, mussel, oyster and clam are well established aquaculture industries, while the farming of several other species are at various stages of development.
Economic Contribution to Canada
Aquaculture represents about a third of Canada’s total fisheries value and about 20% of total seafood production. The value of aquaculture production has increased by 63% over the last ten years, to $962 million in 2013 from $591 million in 2003. In fact, Canadian production has increased four-fold since the early nineties.
Canada is the fourth-largest producer of farmed salmon in the world and mussel is our top shellfish aquaculture export.
National aquaculture production output is divided about equally between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. In 2013, British Columbia accounted for about 49% of total production volume, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island with each 15%, New Brunswick at 11% and Nova Scotia at 5%.
Employment Contribution to Canada
According to a 2009 study, aquaculture employs about 14,000 people in full-time, well paying jobs that are primarily located in smaller coastal and rural communities. Canada’s farmed-salmon industry provides more than 10,000 jobs alone, the majority of which are in coastal areas of British Columbia and New Brunswick.
The aquaculture industry also generates a little more than half a billion dollars in labour income.
The future of Canada’s aquaculture industry is directly linked to its economic viability, success in creating stable jobs, and increasing access to domestic and international markets. These objectives apply to the many facets of the aquaculture sector, including businesses associated with hatcheries, grow-out, and processing, as well as the supply of aquaculture goods and services.
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