Aquaculture in Canada has been around before Confederation. But while industry is as old as Canada, it has been in the last three decades where it has taken off, expanding employment opportunities in communities on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
Today, Canada’s growing aquaculture sector has created jobs and economic growth for remote, rural and coastal regions, including for First Nations and other Aboriginal communities.
The industry has helped fill the gap as the wild fishery, forestry, and mining sectors have faced permanent closures or temporary struggles due to swings-and-roundabouts of the global economy or from the impacts of climate change.
Today, aquaculture is responsible for more than 14,500 well-paying direct and indirect jobs for Canadians and provides all levels of government with significant tax revenue.
The sector contributes approximately $5.2 billion in economy activity for Canada, including $2.1 billion in GDP alone. It accounts for over 28 per cent of Canada’s total seafood value and nearly 20 per cent of all seafood production.
In terms of exports, more $1 billion worth of Canadian aquacultural products are shipped to markets around the world, with the lion’s share going to the United States and Asia. More than $800 million of this is farmed salmon.