Farmed Salmon

Salmon Salmon

Credit: Brenda Guild


Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)


British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island


Juveniles: land-based hatchery facilities (flow-through and recirculation);

Grow-out: saltwater net pens, some land-based systems;

Broodstock: land-based (flow through and recirculation)

At a Glance

Canada is the fourth-largest producer of farmed salmon in the world. Atlantic salmon is Canada’s top aquaculture export, although Chinook and Coho species are also farmed. The United States is Canada’s largest export market for farmed salmon. Farmed salmon is Canada’s third-largest seafood export by value, the largest agri-food export from British Columbia. Salmon production represents over 70% of the overall production volume produced in Canada and over 80% of the overall farm-gate value. It is a significant economic contributor to coastal and rural communities on the east and west coasts.


The annual average farm-gate value of salmon culture in Canada was $735.2 million in the last five years (2011-2015). British Columbia’s salmon production represents about 60% of this total. The farm-gate value represents a product’s value once it is sold by the producer.


An annual average of 122,300 tonnes of salmon was produced in the last five years (2011-2015). Salmon has represented an average of 70% of total Canadian aquaculture volume. British Columbia’s salmon production represents over 60% of this total.

For more information on aquaculture’s impact, consult Aquaculture statistics and reports:


Salmon farming is comprehensively regulated to oversee the environmental, food safety, and animal health aspects of salmon operations. Provincial governments also have regulatory responsibilities in licensing aquaculture sites and processing plants. Regulation of the industry helps to ensure both sustainable salmon farms and the environments in which they operate.

Licences to cultivate salmon in British Columbia are administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada as authorized through the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations, while provincial legislation guides the administration of aquaculture site tenures.

Scientific Research

Scientific research informs the development of, and decisions related to, aquaculture management and regulations in Canada. This includes regulations related to the salmon-farming industry. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been involved in a significant amount of research on salmon farming, especially with respect to the interactions of aquaculture operations with the marine environment and wild fish and shellfish. Other areas of cultured salmon research have focussed on aquatic animal health, fish feed composition, and product quality.

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