FARMED salmon exports from Canada soared last year thanks to increased demand from Asia, said the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance.
The volume of all Canadian aquaculture exports in 2015 was 100,000 tonnes, worth just under $770 million (Canadian).
Ruth Salmon, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance chief executive, said: ‘2015 was a year of sustainable and responsible growth for farmed seafood in Canada.
‘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, the volume of salmon exports reached almost 78,000 tonnes, with a value of just under $600 million. Exports were up in all key markets including the US, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Farmed oyster exports fell slightly in 2015 by volume, but the value increased almost 17 per cent. 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 per cent, due mainly to extremely harsh weather across Atlantic Canada that affected harvests in the early part of 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,’ said Salmon.
An earlier report from the Conference Board of Canada explored means to improve the 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.
Last year a Senate committee undertook a study of aquaculture in Canada. They held 34 public hearings, heard from 138 witnesses, and took 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 new opportunities in aquaculture.
‘A new science based regulatory framework for the farmed seafood sector remains vital to continued innovation and meeting future demand,’ said Salmon.