Community Profile: Charlotte County Region, New Brunswick (Salmon)

Aquaculture has transformed the economy of Charlotte County in southwest New Brunswick. It accounts for approximately 2,000 full-time-equivalent jobs in the region, or 18% of the entire regional workforce. Wages, salaries and earnings from the aquaculture sector are estimated at $71 million, or 23% of the County’s employment income.

The Charlotte Coastal Region is a major centre of the salmon aquaculture industry on the east coast of New Brunswick. Approximately 60% of the salmon produced in the region is exported to the United States, while the remainder is sold in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. The trend toward value-added processing has resulted in more than 40% of the region’s farmed salmon being processed beyond the traditional dressed-head-on whole fish into products such as salmon fillets.

In the past twenty years, the salmon-farming industry has revitalized many of the region’s communities, providing year-round jobs to local residents and attracting a growing number of professionals and businesses. These include veterinarians, biologists and engineers, as well as business leaders with international experience.

Charlotte County continues to explore the potential for increased economic benefits from aquaculture expansion. New species research is underway at the St. Andrews Biological Research Station and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, often in association with private sector partners. Pilot grow-out operations including Atlantic Sturgeon are ongoing, and farmed commercialization of Arctic Char has emerged in the past few years. Companies are also investigating the possibilities of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture, where multiple species, such as salmon, mussels and kelp, are grown on the same site.