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Record profits for Canada's fish-farming sector

CANADA - Canada's aquaculture industry generated record operating revenues of nearly $1 billion in 2006, and British Columbia was responsible for the majority of that figure, says Statistics Canada.

National revenues from production of finfish and shellfish were up 24.7 per cent from 2005, reaching $968 million, although total tonnage was slightly down from record volumes in 2002.

Operating revenues generated in 2006 were at an all-time high for the second consecutive year - a result of increased production and exports.

Finfish sales, particularly Atlantic salmon raised in British Columbia and New Brunswick, were up 26.2 per cent to $867.2 million - 89.5 per cent of total operating revenues, Stats Canada said.

By contrast, mollusk revenue went up 4.1 per cent to $71.7 million. The value of BC's gross Canadian output was a record $425 million, compared to $373 million in 2005.

The United States was the biggest market, consuming more than 85 per cent of Canadian production.

Nationally, product expenses grew 5.6 per cent to $590.4 million in 2006. These consist of the cost of products and services purchased from other businesses, excluding capital and labour costs. Feed costs, which account for over 50 per cent of all product expenses for finfish producers, increased 19.6% to $301.9 million, from $252.6 million last year.

The aquaculture industry produced a gross output, including sales, subsidies and inventory change of $981.7 million in 2006, a substantial increase of 21.4 per cent from a year earlier.

The gross value added by the industry to the economy, the difference between gross output and total product inputs, reached $395.8 million, up 58.4 per cent from 2005.

To read the full report click here