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Aquaculture Activity in Canada

Aquaculture Activity in Canada Prairies Quebec Nova Scotia New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Yukon British Columbia Ontario Prince Edward Island


1. Aquaculture Production and Value in Canada (1990-2009)

1.1 Aquaculture Production in Canada (1990-2009)

Did you know...

• Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production activity in the world (UN FAO)

• Aquaculture produces about 50% of global aquatic food production

• Canada ranks 26th in world aquaculture in terms of production and 20th in terms of the value of the production

• Canada is the 4th largest salmon producing country after Norway, Chile, and the UK

• Canadian aquaculture accounts for 14% of total seafood production (volume) and 35% of its value

• Canadian production has increased four-fold in the past 20 years

• The total economic or gross value generated by aquaculture is $2.1 billion

• The aquaculture industry generates over $1.0 billion in GDP

• The aquaculture industry provides 14,500 full-time jobs

• The aquaculture industry provides just over half a billion dollars in labour income

In 2009, Canadian farmed seafood was valued at $800M (155,000 tonnes). Canada exported 69% of its grown seafood, of which 97% was to the United States.

Aquaculture Production in Canada (1990-2009)
Source: Statistics Canada

1.2 Total Value (2001-2009)

In 2009, finfish accounted for 76% of total aquaculture production in Canada, of which 93% was salmon. Over two thirds (68%) of shellfish production in Canada comes from mussels.

Total Value (2001-2009)
Source: Statistics Canada

1.3 Principal Commercial Aquaculture Operations

The scope of aquaculture operations vary across the country depending upon the species being farmed, the environment (marine, freshwater) and the culture technologies being used (land based, water based).

The scope of aquaculture operations vary across the country depending upon the species

2. Aquaculture Species in Canada

Aquaculture occurs in all provinces and in the Yukon Territory. Several marine finfish and shellfish species are well established on the east and west coasts, while freshwater trout (mainly rainbow) operations are found in almost every province.

  Finfish Shellfish Plant
Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Salmon
Steelhead Trout
Nova Scotia Atlantic Salmon
Arctic Char
Steelhead Trout
Rainbow Trout
Eastern Oysters
Blue Mussels
Prince Edward Island Rainbow Trout
Arctic Char
Blue Mussels
Eastern Oysters
New Brunswick Atlantic Salmon
Rainbow Trout
Steelhead Trout
Eastern Oysters
Blue Mussels
Quebec Arctic Char
Rainbow Trout
Brook Trout
Speckled Trout
Eastern Oysters
Blue Mussels
Sea Scallops
Ontario Rainbow Trout
Arctic Char
Manitoba Rainbow Trout
Arctic Char
Saskatchewan Rainbow Trout
Steelhead Trout
Alberta Rainbow Trout
British Columbia Atlantic Salmon
Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon
Rainbow Trout
Pacific Oysters
Manila Clams
Varnish/Savory Clams
Blue Mussels
Mediterranean Mussels
Japanese Scallops
Yukon Arctic Char    
Northwest Territories Arctic Char    

Source: Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance

2.1 Production by Province and Major Species

The quantity and value of national output is divided about equally between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, though British Columbia leads all other provinces, accounting for about 50% of total production value followed by New Brunswick (21%) and Newfoundland (12%).

Output by Province, 2009 — $800 million

Output by Province, 2009 — $800 million Source: Statistics Canada

Output by Species, 2009 — 155,000 tonnes

Output by Species, 2009 — 155,000 tonnesSource: Statistics Canada

3. Economic and Employment Contributions to Canada

The total economic activity generated from aquaculture in Canada in 2007 was $2.1 billion dollars. Aquaculture creates thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in income, providing substantial socio-economic contribution to many coastal and rural communities where aquaculture takes place.

GDP ($000s)
Direct 20,000 22,800 42,800 69,100 8,200 7,480 151,100 321,480
Indirect 8,400 10,600 6,400 47,200 2,500 4,080 167,900 450,400
Induced 6,200 8,500 10,400 30,800 3,700 4,250 106,300 233,300
Total 34,600 41,900 59,600 147,100 14,400 15,810 425,300 1,005,180
Employment (FTE)
Direct 215 380 790 1,100 80 110 2,220 4,895
Indirect 120 170 125 790 35 55 2,330 6,400
Induced 70 120 250 530 45 51 1,410 3,200
Total 405 670 1,165 2,420 160 216 5,960 14,495
Income ($000s)
Direct 6,200 12,200 22,000 32,700 2,600 2,720 78,400 156,820
Indirect 4,900 6,400 2,900 28,300 1,200 2,040 95,100 241,200
Induced 2,200 4,800 6,400 16,800 1,230 1,530 50,400 107,900
Total 13,300 23,400 31,300 77,800 5,030 6,290 223,900 505,920
Source: DFO

4. Aquaculture Activity in Canada

Today, aquaculture takes place in all ten provinces and the Yukon Territory. Production of Atlantic salmon, chinook salmon, trout, Arctic char, blue mussel, oyster and clam are well established. Several other species including halibut, sturgeon, tilapia, sablefish and scallop are at various stages of development.

4.1 Finfish

In 2009, finfish aquaculture accounted for 118,000 tonnes or three quarters of total aquaculture production in Canada. Finfish aquaculture is dominated by atlantic salmon which accounted for over 90% of finfish production valued at $653M.

Finfish Production (2001-2009)

Finfish Production (2001-2009)Source: Statistics Canada

4.1.1 Salmon

Salmon farming accounted for $653M (value) in Canada in 2009. British Columbia is the largest salmon producer with a market value of $394M, followed by New Brunswick ($159M) and the rest of Atlantic Canada ($100M). In 2009, British Columbia and New Brunswick produced 93,000 tonnes of salmon, representing 85% of total salmon production in Canada.

Salmon Production (2001-2009)

Salmon Production (2001-2009)Source: Statistics Canada

Salmon Value (2001-2009)

Salmon Value (2001-2009)Source: Statistics Canada

4.1.2 Trout

Freshwater trout production takes place in almost every province. Over 60% of output (mainly rainbow trout) is produced in Ontario, most of it in the waters of Georgian Bay off Manitoulin Island.

Trout Production (2001-2009)

Trout Production (2001-2009)Source: Statistics Canada

4.2 Shellfish

In 2009, shellfish production was 34,000 tonnes ($64M value). Mussels accounted for two thirds of total shellfish production and half of the market value ($32M).

Shellfish Production (2001-2009)

Shellfish Production (2001-2009)Source: Statistics Canada

4.2.1 Mussels

Mussels account for over two thirds (68%) of all shellfish production in Canada. In 2009, Canada produced 24,000 tonnes of mussels with 77% coming from PEI.

Mussel Value (2001-2009)

Mussel Value (2001-2009)Source: Statistics Canada

4.2.2 Oysters

In 2009, the total market value of oysters was just over $16M. British Columbia accounted for 40% of that market share followed by PEI (31%), New Brunswick (25%) and Nova Scotia (4%).

Oyster Production and Value (2001-2009)

Oyster Production and Value (2001-2009)Source: Statistics Canada

4.3 Exports

In 2009, Canada exported 69% of its grown seafood, of which 97% was to the United States. About 73,000 tonnes of salmon valued at a half billion dollars where exported to the US along with 10,500 tonnes of mussels ($30M) mainly from Atlantic Canada.

Total Exports (2001-2009)

Total Exports (2001-2009)Source: Statistics Canada