Asia shows appetite for Canadian aquaculture

March 1, 2016

Asia shows appetite for Canadian aquaculture
 The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) announced today healthy exports of farmed seafood during 2015, including growing demand from Asia.
FishfarmingXpert, Author: Laura Braden, PhD, March 1, 2016

Trade data released this week show that the volume of exports for all Canadian aquaculture products was over 100,000 tonnes, with a value of just under $770 million.

“2015 was a year of sustainable and responsible growth for farmed seafood in Canada,” said the Executive Director for CAIA, Ruth Salmon. “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, for 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 of exports increased almost 17%. Strong growth occurred 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 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.

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 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.”