Value of outputs

In Canada, the fishing industry is comprised of three main economic activities: commercial fishing (harvesting), aquaculture (fish farming), and fish processing. Commercial landings yielded 766,402 tonnes in 2019, a 9% decline from 2018. These landings were valued at $3.7 billion, a marginal decrease from the previous year.

Commercial seafisheries landings fell 7% to 742,634 tonnes in 2019 while landed value decreased 1% to $3.6 billion. The three species with the largest landings declines in 2019 were shrimp (down 23,911 tonnes), herring (down 23,027 tonnes) and salmon (down 13,023 tonnes). Shellfish represented 51% of commercial marine landings in 2019, an increase from 47% in 2018. Declines in landed value of several species, including shrimp (down $146 million) and salmon (down $72 million), were almost completely offset by increases in others, most notably lobster (up $177 million). In terms of value, shellfish represented 85% commercial marine landings, up from 82% in 2018.

Commercial freshwater landings dropped 10% to 23,768 tonnes in 2019 and landed value fell by 13% to $68 million. Whitefish (down 1,252 tonnes), perch (down 893 tonnes), and smelt (down 541 tonnes) accounted for the majority of the decline in landings. Whitefish (down $3.2 million) and perch (down $2.8 million) experienced the largest decreases in values. Yellow pickerel accounted for over a third (35%) of the commercial freshwater landings and more than half (54%) of the value.

In 2019, aquaculture production was 187,026 tonnes, down 2% from 2018. A 23% year-over-year decline in New Brunswick production accounted for the majority of the national decline. Large declines in salmon (5,894 tonnes) and oysters (1,332 tonnes) were key drivers of lower production in the province in 2019.

The value of national aquaculture production in 2019 dropped 14% to $1.2 billion - almost entirely attributable to a $200 million decline in salmon production. All three provinces with salmon production - Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia - experienced double-digit percentage declines in the value of salmon production.

In addition to the harvesting and aquaculture industries, processing of these products also adds substantial value to the Canadian economy, including $6.7 billion* in sales in 2019 which is a 6% increase from 2018.

* Statistics Canada. Table 16-10-0117-01 Principal statistics for manufacturing industries, by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (x 1,000)

Commercial landings and production by fishing activity, Canada, 2015-2019
  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
  metric tonnes millions of dollars
Seafisheriestable note 1 837,746 848,165 822,349 799,559 742,634 3,196 3,301 3,797 3,669 3,633
Freshwater fisheriestable note 2 27,965 30,382 29,161 26,299 23,768 64 74 84 78 68
Aquaculture productiontable note 3 187,374 200,565 191,416 191,259 187,026 967 1,347 1,392 1,431 1,230

Table Notes

Table note 1

DFO. Economic Analysis and Statistics. Seafisheries Landings. https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/commercial/sea-maritimes-eng.htm

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

DFO. Economic Analysis and Statistics. Freshwater Landings. https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/commercial/fresh-yrlist-eng.htm

Return to table note 2 referrer

Table note 3

DFO. Economic Analysis and Statistics. Aquaculture Production Quantities and Values. https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/aqua/aqua-prod-eng.htm

Return to table note 3 referrer

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