Canada's Position among the World's Fisheries

4.1 Global Harvesting

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations ranked Canada in 21st place in terms of the global volume of fish landings in 2010. This represents just over 1% of world production, a drop of one position from 2009 when Canada ranked 20th. The top three countries with respect to total fish landings in 2010 were China, Indonesia, and India. Collectively, these countries accounted for 29% of 2010 worldwide catches.

Table 4.1: Fish landings by country, 2008-2010
2008 2009 2010
Rank Country thousands of tonnes
1 China1 14,791 14,920 15,419
2 Indonesia 4,997 5,104 5,380
3 India 4,099 4,067 4,695
4 United States 4,350 4,222 4,370
5 Peru 7,395 6,914 4,261
6 Russian Federation 3,384 3,826 4,070
7 Japan2 4,302 4,116 4,044
8 Myanmar 2,494 2,767 3,063
9 Chile 3,555 3,454 2,680
10 Norway 2,431 2,524 2,675
21 Canada3 950 950 928
- Other countries 36,951 36,766 37,019
Total 89,699 89,630 88,604

Notes:
1Includes Hong Kong and Macao.
2FAO estimate
3Canadian figures may not match exactly those found in Section 2 due to conceptual differences.
Source: FAO, FishStat Plus, Capture Production (February, 2012).

Canadian fish harvesters operate in FAO Footnote 3 fishing areas 2, 21 and 67. Area 2 covers all inland freshwater commercial fisheries. Area 21 covers the northwest portion of the Atlantic Ocean, while area 67 includes the northeast part of the Pacific; i.e., both oceans that border Canada to the east and to the west. There is effectively no activity in FAO fishing area 18 despite the fact our northern territories border this area.

In 2010, 4,769 thousand tons of global fish landings were from these two areas, including 1,091 thousand tonnes in Canada (23% of total). Most landings were in the U.S., for a total of 3,419 thousand tons, which represents 72% of the overall landings in these two areas. Total catches in the Northeast Pacific and Northwest Atlantic represented approximately 5% of worldwide catches in 2010.

Canada has a significantly higher presence in the Atlantic Northwest than in the Pacific Northeast. In 2010, Canadian fisheries accounted for 39% of catches reported in the Atlantic Northwest (zone 21), and more than 9% of catches in the Pacific Northeast (zone 67).

Table 4.2: Landings in the Atlantic Northwest (FAO Zone 21) and Pacific Northeast (FAO Zone 67), 2009-2010
2009 2010
Atlantic NW Pacific NE Atlantic NW Pacific NE
tonnes
U.S. 1,097 2,144 1,108 2,311
Canada 872 235 859 232
Greenland 179 176
Other countries 61 1 76 7
Total 2,208 2,379 2,220 2,549

Source: FAO, FishStat Plus, Capture Production (February, 2012).

On average, the United States had one-half of total catches in the Northwest Atlantic between 2008 and 2010, compared to 39% for Canada. In the early part of the 1990s, Canada ranked in first place, in terms of volume of landings. Catches by Canadian fish harvesters at that time represented 42% of total catches (average for 1988-1990); as compared to 40% for American fish harvesters. It should be noted that following the collapse of Atlantic cod stocks at the beginning of the 1990s, the total landings in the Atlantic have decreased by nearly 40%.

4.2 World Aquaculture Production

Canadian aquaculture production totalled 160,924t in 2010. Canada ranked 25th in the world in terms of volume and 18th in terms of value. China ranked first in aquaculture production, as it did with respect to marine fisheries. In 2010, the total volume of commercial aquaculture in China was 36,734,215t, over 61% of worldwide aquaculture production. The value of production for China's aquaculture industry was $59.1 billion in 2010.

As opposed to marine fisheries, worldwide aquaculture production rose 13% in terms of volume from 2008 to 2010. Among countries with levels of production in excess of 50,000 tonnes Peru, Uganda, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Cambodia, Netherlands, and Iran had growth rates between 30% and 52% during the same period. In comparison, Canadian aquaculture production increased by 6% between 2008 and 2010.

Table 4.3: Major world aquaculture producers, ranked by value of aquaculture production in 2010
2008 2009 2010 2008 2009 2010
Rank Country thousands of tonnes thousands of dollars
1 China1 32,731 34,780 36,734 $51,345,628 $55,142,230 $59,141,915
2 India 3,851 3,792 4,549 $6,240,363 $5,648,317 $9,084,634
3 Viet Nam 2,462 2,556 2,672 $4,608,180 $4,803,327 $5,150,010
4 Indonesia 1,690 1,733 2,305 $3,138,994 $3,590,060 $5,020,275
5 Bangladesh 1,006 1,064 1,309 $2,814,094 $3,205,671 $4,894,871
6 Thailand 1,331 1,417 1,286 $4,502,789 $4,668,055 $3,753,276
7 Norway 848 962 1,008 $3,148,551 $3,601,208 $3,531,987
8 Egypt 694 705 920 $1,766,182 $2,350,574 $2,840,058
9 Myanmar 675 778 851 $2,345,660 $2,623,121 $2,817,138
10 Philippines 741 737 745 $1,576,141 $1,485,706 $1,563,082
25 Canada2 152 154 161 $720,747 $671,569 $893,379
- Other countries 6,765 7,035 7,334 $18,485,931 $18,708,459 $20,753,653
World Total 52,946 55,714 59,873 $100,693,260 $106,498,297 $119,444,278

Notes:
1 Includes Hong Kong and Macao, excludes Taiwan
2Canadian figures may not match exactly those found in Section 2 due to conceptual differences.
Source: FAO, FishStat Plus, Aquaculture Production (March 2012).

4.3 World Trade

In 2010, Canada ranked 7th worldwide among seafood exporting countries in terms of total export value, behind the United States and Denmark, among others. This represents an increase in rank from 2009 when Canada was in 8th place, behind Chile. China has remained the top seafood exporting country between 2008 and 2010, with an export share of 12% in 2010. However, China's 12% share of world export value is considerably less than its share of the global aquaculture production in terms of value (50%) and its percentage of global fishing volume (17%), which can be explained by the fact that a major part of the Chinese aquaculture production goes to the domestic market.

International trade in seafood has evolved considerably during the last two decades. In 1990, the United States and Canada were 1st and 2nd major exporters of seafood in terms of value. Beginning in 1991, the gradual decrease in groundfish catches coupled with increased aquaculture production in Asian countries caused Canada to slip from 2nd to 7th place in total export value in 1993. Since 1993, Canada has not been among the top four major seafood exporters, although the value of exports from 2000-2004 resulted in Canada ranking as the fifth largest seafood exporting nation in the world.

Table 4.4: Major world seafood exporters, 2008-2010
2008 2009 2010
Rank Country thousands of dollars
1 China1 $10,782,014 $11,700,159 $13,651,084
2 Norway $7,394,562 $8,076,911 $9,083,084
3 Thailand $6,963,636 $7,121,218 $7,341,048
4 Viet Nam $4,850,720 $4,911,504 $5,261,730
5 United States $4,757,677 $4,733,065 $4,800,885
6 Denmark $4,904,998 $4,545,144 $4,308,288
7 Canada3 $3,950,854 $3,699,470 $3,962,513
8 Netherlands $3,618,130 $3,583,517 $3,664,076
9 Chile $4,190,469 $4,118,345 $3,503,052
10 Spain 3,694,244 3,589,110 3,409,225
- Other $57,049,193 $45,546,961 $55,164,283
Total2 $108,623,653 $95,962,739 $112,545,711

Notes:
1Includes Hong Kong and Macao.
2Includes re-exports.
3Canadian figures may not match exactly those found in Section 3 due to revisions in the Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database.
Source: FAO. 2012. Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics 2010. Rome.

In 2009, the latest available year, Canadian fish and seafood exports accounted for a significant share of worldwide exports of some products, such as smoked herring (69%), lobster (44%), frozen crab (36%), fresh haddock (18%), Greenland, Atlantic and Pacific halibut (12%), fish livers and roes (10%), and scallops (10%).

Table 4.5: Canada's share of world seafood exports by product, 2009
2009
Product1 thousands of dollars % of Canadian exports % of World exports
Salmon, fresh, frozen or preserved $532,545 14% 5%
Crabs, whether in shell or not, frozen $531,574 14% 36%
Lobsters, live, frozen, or preserved 426,906 11% 44%
Shrimp, frozen or preserved $345,872 9% 2%
Fish fillets, fresh or frozen $298,850 8% 2%
Sea urchins and other molluscs, fresh or frozen $144,515 4% 8%
Scallop, fresh or frozen 104,085 3% 10%
Fish livers and roes, dried, smoked, salted or in brine $101,472 3% 10%
Greenland, Atlantic and Pacific halibut, fresh or frozen $79,619 2% 12%
Hake, frozen $39,668 1% 6%
Mackerel (Scomber spp.), frozen $39,628 1% 2%
Herring, including fillets, smoked $30,250 1% 69%
Haddock, fresh or chilled $27,953 1% 18%
Other $1,023,036 27% 2%
Total2 $3,725,972 100% 3%

Note: Canadian figures may not match exactly those found in Section 3 due to conceptual differences.
1 Products grouped according to Harmonized System (HS) categories.
2 Includes re-exports.
Source: FAO, FishStat Plus, Fisheries Commodities Production and Trade (January 2012).

Canada imports less fish and seafood than it exports, and was ranked 15th highest seafood importer in the world in 2010. Canada's rank has moved up by one position since 2008 when it ranked 16th worldwide. The United States and Japan were the top two major fish and seafood importers in 2010 and they accounted for 27% of the worldwide value of imports.

Table 4.6: Major world seafood importers, 2008-2010
2008 2009 2010
Rank Country thousands of dollars
1 United States $15,939,450 $15,825,710 $15,960,357
2 Japan $15,934,161 $15,140,488 $15,430,236
3 China1 $8,056,531 $8,590,491 $9,466,151
4 Spain $7,569,924 $6,746,551 $6,707,046
5 France $6,221,214 $6,371,290 $6,154,155
6 Italy $5,813,087 $5,778,625 $5,582,012
7 Germany $4,798,922 $5,219,529 $5,176,672
8 United Kingdom $4,498,998 $4,104,230 $3,825,650
9 Sweden $2,947,493 $2,988,563 $3,416,591
10 Korea, Republic of $3,121,496 $3,076,063 $3,286,918
15 Canada2 $2,180,558 $2,299,057 $2,331,312
- Other countries $40,597,517 $43,061,913 $38,426,302
Total $115,165,297 $113,848,801 $114,646,397

Notes:
1 Includes Hong Kong and Macao.
2 Canadian figures may not match exactly those found in Section 3 due to conceptual differences.
Source: FAO. 2012. Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics 2010. Rome.