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Outlook to 2027 for Canadian Fish and Seafood

Economic Policy and Research
Economic Analysis and Statistics Directorate

About the report

The Outlook to 2027 for Canadian Fish and Seafood presents the results of a dynamic simulation model developed at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and includes projections of global consumption, production and trade for 12 species groups of fish and seafood. The Outlook does not present a specific prediction of the future but describes a plausible, forward-looking assessment based on the best available information. It is driven in large part by continued population growth and rising income in certain parts of the world, trends expected to persist over the longer-term. However, events and outcomes that cannot be foreseen, such as extreme weather events and ongoing trade negotiations, could impact the trajectory described in the Outlook. The results described in the Outlook provide a benchmark against which policy changes and external shocks can be evaluated to assess their impacts and assist in policy development.


Global seafood outlook

  • Demand for fish and seafood is comprised of a) demand for direct consumption as food by humans (approximately 90% of total consumption), and b) demand for indirect consumption through other uses such as feed for aquaculture and animal production, or to a lesser extent as bait, an input to fisheries
  • Overall, fish and seafood utilization is projected to grow 9% by 2027. The growing demand for seafood for food (+11%) due to increasing populations and incomes is only partially offset by reduced use of fish and seafood for other uses, in particular as agriculture feed (-9%).
  • A growing share of food demand will be met by aquaculture production, which will expand by almost 20% by 2027, as strong global prices for seafood encourage expansion.
  • Historically, fish prices have tended to closely track those of other meat sources, but projections to 2027 suggest in the medium term fish prices may continue to increase while other meat sources stabilize.

Canada's seafood outlook

  • A significant portion of Canadian fish and seafood production is exported. Canada has been diversifying its trade portfolio by entering into new free trade agreements (Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) to help industry to access the highest value markets for their products.
  • Strong growth projections for global prices of key Canadian seafood exports are projected to support gains of almost 20% in export value in the medium term, exceeding $8B by 2025 (see figure).
  • This growth in export value is largely the result of strong increases in global prices for key Canadian exports, in particular lobster, as well as modest increases in volume, mainly by aquaculture.
  • Canada is projected to maintain a strong export balance in the medium term for most fish and seafood product groups with overall net export value projected to increase by more than 40% by 2027.

Projections for Canadian exports by species

Figure showing the projections for Canadian exports by species. Image is a stacked bar chart of Canadian exports by species group for years 2000 to 2027.  A dashed line divides the bars to show values for years 2017 and earlier are from data while values after 2017 are projections based on the model. The species included in each group are described in the outlook report.

Infographic summarizing the projections for Canadian exports by species.

Values in billions of Canadian dollars

Year Crab Freshwater Lobster Molluscs Groundfish Pelagics Salmon Shrimp Tuna Other
2000 0.7 0.1 0.9 0.3 0.8 0.1 0.5 0.3 0.0 0.2
2005 0.6 0.1 1.0 0.3 0.7 0.2 0.7 0.5 0.0 0.2
2010 0.6 0.1 0.9 0.3 0.5 0.2 0.7 0.4 0.0 0.2
2015 1.0 0.1 2.0 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.9 0.6 0.1 0.2
2017 1.5 0.1 2.1 0.5 0.7 0.2 1.1 0.5 0.1 0.2
2020 1.2 0.2 2.6 0.5 0.9 0.2 1.0 0.4 0.1 0.2
2025 1.1 0.2 3.3 0.6 1.1 0.3 1.0 0.5 0.1 0.2
2027 1.0 0.2 3.2 0.5 1.1 0.3 0.9 0.5 0.1 0.2

Source: Statistics Canada, SEASIM projections



  • The Canada-U.S. lobster market is highly integrated and projections show the two countries will continue to be each other's largest destination for lobster exports.
  • Globally, lobster will continue to be the highest priced traded seafood product group.
  • Lobster's share of Canada's seafood export value is projected to increase from about 30% to 40% as Canada solidifies its position as the single largest net exporter of lobster.


  • Snow crab accounted for over two thirds of Canada's crab exports in 2017 by value.
  • Global demand for crab will be increasingly dominated by China.
  • Increasing disposable income in Asia continues to create demand for premium crab, such as snow crab from Canada.


  • World consumption of salmon is projected to increase by 40%, or almost 2 million tonnes, by 2027.
  • Canada will likely remain a small player in the global salmon aquaculture industry; however, production is projected to grow faster than domestic consumption, increasing export capacity.
  • The high cost of fish meal and fish oil, and volatile prices for other types of feed, continue to make diversification of feed formulations a priority, and support increased production of species that do not require feeds such as bivalves (e.g., clams).

Contact Us

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Economic Analysis and Statistics Directorate
Economic Policy and Research
InfoECON (DFO/MPO): DFO.InfoECON.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca