Demand for B.C. farmed salmon outstrips supply

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
23 December 2006, at 12:00am

CANADA - B.C. salmon farmers are going full tilt to meet a surging demand for their fish, according to the executive director of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association.

"It's completely outstripping supply," association executive director Mary Ellen Walling said in an interview. "We just can't keep up with the requests for the product."

Walling said most of the demand is coming from the U.S., where 85 per cent of their product is shipped. "We've been harvesting salmon every day [and] our prices have been very solid."

Blair Billard, production manager of Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., a Campbell River-based company that operates five fish farms on the B.C. coast, said in an interview: "We harvest about 8,000 metric tonnes a year and we could easily do more than that if we had the fish in the water."

Walling said she expects 2006 B.C. farm fish sales to top 2005, when the net value to the fish farms' production rose 42 per cent to $318.7 million.

Prices paid by U.S. commercial customers for whole fish (10-12 pounds) have risen by more than 40 per cent since 2004, from $1.66 US a pound to $2.38 this year. Filet prices have risen even more sharply, from $2.82 a pound in 2004 to $4.33 this year.

Source: Vancouver Sun