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US Demand Up, But BC Farmers Won't Match it

BRITISH COLUMBIA - BC salmon farmers could stand to benefit from the closure of commercial fisheries in California and much of Oregon this year. Demand for the provinces farmers salmon is likely to increase.

However, meeting the demand may not be that easy given the difficulties the sector is currently is experiencing with expansion, says a report in the Westcoaster.

Mary Ellen Walling, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Associations, said that growing fish for the market takes about two years.

“The challenge for us is we’re not going to be able to meet the demand for the product,” she added.

Walling said while demand for BC farmed salmon has grown over the past three years, she expects an increase in demand because of this year’s closure. She said there is a growing acceptance of the product in the US, and people are now realising the positive health benefits of eating salmon. Retailers also like its year-round availability.

Chilean Effect?

Meantime, Catherine Stewart, salmon farm campaign manager for the Living Oceans Society, linked the likely increase in demand with the outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia in Chile and the closure of some farms.

“I’m really surprised the industry is reporting an upsurge in the demand for the product,” she said. Major US grocery chains recently announced that they’d no longer carry Chilean farmed salmon and are now likely to turn to BC. SHe said he increase in demand is no reflection on environmentalists’ de-marketing campaigns.

View the Westcoaster story by clicking here.

Further Reading

- To read another report on this subject by click here.