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Farmed Salmon Industry Looking Healthy in BC

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - Market prospects for farmed salmon raised in British Columbia remain strong as shortages in supply continue and the industry is well positioned to hold the five per cent share of world production that it earned in 2008.

The market forecast and analysis of British Columbia’s farmed salmon industry come from a report released today by PricewaterhoseCoopers, the world’s largest professional services firm. “Profile of the BC Farmed Salmon Industry in 2008,” includes a summary of the economic contribution salmon farming makes to the BC economy.

BC farmed raised salmon production increased from 71,400 dressed tonnes in 2007 to 73,600 dressed tonnes in 2008, a three per cent increase, with wholesale sales increasing from $479 million in 2007 to $507 million in 2008, a six per cent increase. This led to a slightly higher contribution to provincial GDP ($180 million) in 2008 over 2007.

“In these difficult economic times it is reassuring to see employment in our sector remains stable, that our industry’s contribution to the local economies of coastal communities on Vancouver Island remains strong and that there is an opportunity for the BC industry to gain market share,” says Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director, British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association.

Today, direct and indirect employment in hatcheries, grow-out, other farm activities, processing and supply and service industries is over 6000, generating an economic output of over $800 million in 2008.

Over 90 per cent of British Columbia’s production is exported to the United States, where the import market for farmed salmon was $1.4 billion in 2008. British Columbia’s share of this market was up slightly in 2008 to 23 per cent. However, strong prices in the US market were offset by the high Canadian dollar in the first three quarters of 2008.

Prospects for the industry in 2009 are promising. Worldwide production in 2008 was flat with drops in production from Chile offset by gains by European producers. In the United States, British Columbia’s most important export market for farmed salmon, the industry should remain competitive: demand remains strong despite a faltering US economy and BC benefits from lower fuel costs to bring its product from the westcoast down to California, where the BC industry has the strongest market penetration.

the Fish Site Editor

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