Future of Canadian seafood lies in aquaculture, says report – Fishupdate.com

Future of Canadian seafood lies in aquaculture, says report Published:  29 October, 2007

The market for aquaculture is growing Photo: BCSFA

AN expected increase in global demand for seafood will boost demand for sustainable aquaculture, and Canada is well positioned to meet such growth, according to a report published by Glitnir today.

According to the report – which provides an analytical overview of the current main trends and developments in the Canadian seafood industry – increasing global salmon prices counterbalance declining harvests in traditional fisheries. The weak US dollar is forcing seafood exporters to look to alternative markets.

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 report states.

Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and New Brunswick caught 91% of all landed volume in 2006 – representing 86% of overall value. While herring is the largest volume catch, lobster, shrimp and queen/snow crab comprise the bulk of the value.

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, according to the analysts.

In 2005, Canadian aquaculture production increased by 5%, but due to high salmon prices the overall value of the production rose by 26%. British Columbia currently produces about half of all volume and value in Canadian aquaculture, followed by New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

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

Canada exports an estimated 85 per cent, by value, of its fish and seafood production. The main export market is the USA, with 49% of the volume and 62% of the value of seafood exports.

While the CAD increased its value against the USD by 62% over the past five years, the price of seafood in the USA increased by only 10% 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 report says.

The weak USD is forcing seafood exporters to look to other markets: seafood exports from Canada to Europe increased by 23% in 2006.

Domestic seafood consumption has remained at 9-10 kg per person, since peaking at 10.03 kg in 1999.

While overall food prices in Canada are rising, seafood prices have decreased slightly over the last three years.

The new Glitnir Seafood Industry Report is the fifth in a series of seven issues planned for 2007. Issues from the series’ previous four years of publication have focused on the seafood industries in Europe, North and South America and China, while the most recent report, published in August, focused on the tuna species. All previous reports are available at www.glitnir.is/seafood.

Glitnir, is a leading supplier of financial services to the seafood industry.

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