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Future of Canadian Seafood Lies In Aquaculture

CANADA - Increasing global salmon prices are counter-balancing declining harvests in traditional fisheries and an expected increase in global demand for seafood will boost demand for sustainable aquaculture.

And, Canada is well positioned to meet such growth as the weak US dollar is forcing seafood exporters to look to alternative markets, says Glitnir, the globally leading supplier of financial services to the seafood industry.

A new report on Canada's seafood industry, out today today, provides an analytical overview of the current main trends and developments in the Canadian seafood industry.

The report says:

  • The industry and market developments force seafood companies to operate more efficiently and cost effectively, and the number of vessels and processing plants continues to decrease.

  • The market for aquaculture is growing, as demand for seafood continues to increase globally and traditional harvests decline. Canada is well positioned to benefit from this market growth.

  • Aquaculture production is expected to continue growing in Canada as long as prices for farmed seafood remain high.

  • In 2005, Canadian aquaculture production increased by 5 per cent, but due to high salmon prices the overall value of the production rose by 26 per cent.

  • British Columbia currently produces about half of all volume and value in Canadian aquaculture, followed by New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

  • Canada exports an estimated 85 per cent, by value, of its fish and seafood production - the main market being the USA, which takes 49 per cent of the volume and 62 per cent of the value of seafood exports.

  • While the $CA increased its value against the $US by 62 per cent over the past five years, the price of seafood in the USA increased by only 10 per cent over the same period. To maintain margins and capitalise on the growing US seafood market, exporters need to command higher prices in the USA.

  • The weak $US is forcing seafood exporters to look to other markets: Seafood exports from Canada to Europe increased by 23 per cent in 2006.

  • Domestic seafood consumption has remained at 9-10 kg per person, since peaking at 10.03 kg in 1999. But while overall food prices in Canada are rising, seafood prices have decreased slightly over the last three years.

The latest Glitnir Seafood Industry Report is the fifth in a series of seven issues planned for this year. Previous reports have focussed on seafood industries in Europe, North and South America and China, while the most recent report, published in August, focused on the tuna species.

Reports can be found at