Data recently released by the BC Salmon Farmers’ Association (BCSFA) reveal that domestic demand for salmon raised in BC continues to be strong amidst record high global salmon prices, while the United States remains the primary destination for exports. Markets in Asia are showing huge potential with year-over-year growth more than doubling in many markets.
The volume of salmon exported to Asia increased 40% over 2015’s record volume, with more than 4,700 tonnes of fresh salmon exported. China and Japan continue to be the top two Asian destinations for exports, with South Korea now emerging as a key growth market. Over 82 tonnes were exported to South Korea in 2016, a market that saw no exports from BC before 2015 when the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement came into force.
“The value of BC farm-raised salmon has never been higher, and that value is being reinvested in the industry with salmon producers building new hatcheries and processing plants upgrading marine farms with the latest technology, building new working vessels, investing in skills training and scientific research, supporting local community projects, and certifying farms to the most stringent third-party environmental standards available,” said Jeremy Dunn, Executive Director of the BCSFA.
Exports to the United States were stable, at just over 50,000-tonnes of fresh salmon, but strong demand amidst high prices saw the value of those exports increase by 25% over 2015. Global demand for seafood and farm-raised salmon in particular has pushed the value of BC exports up by 45% over similar export volumes in 2012. Overall, Canadian exports of farm-raised salmon reached over $950-million, with the total value of Canadian farm-raised seafood exports over $1-billion. BC accounted for 58% of all Canadian exports of farm-raised salmon. 78% of the BC harvest is from farms covered under First Nation Agreements.