Canadian sales of aquaculture products and services in 2022 rise 0.4% year-over-year to C$1.4B, Statistics Canada says; sales rise despite a decrease in finfish production because the average price of finfish rose sharply

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OTTAWA , November 27, 2023 (press release) –

Sales of aquaculture products and services remained relatively steady compared with 2021, increasing 0.4% to $1.4 billion in 2022. The aquaculture industry experienced a growth in sales despite a decrease in finfish production because the average price of finfish rose sharply.

In 2022, Canadian finfish production decreased 14.6% compared with 2021 to 125 907 tonnes. The average Canadian farmed finfish price rose 16.5% from 2021 to $9.67 per kilogram in 2022, as salmon prices reached $10.03 per kilogram. Canadian farmed shellfish production totalled 40 358 tonnes in 2022, up 4.2% from 2021. With this increased production, Canadian farmed shellfish prices also rose compared with 2021, up 7.2% to $3.10 per kilogram.

The gross output (+12.1%) and total product inputs (+14.2%) increased in 2022. The gross value added—which is the difference between gross output and total product inputs—increased by 2.1% from 2021 to $241.3 million in 2022.

Farmed finfish production increases on the West Coast but declines on the East Coast

In 2022, British Columbia's farmed finfish production rose 1.4% from 2021, increasing its share of Canadian farmed finfish production from 57.8% in 2021 to 68.6% in 2022. In addition to this increase in production, British Columbia saw record prices for farmed finfish, rising 22.7% compared with the previous year to $10.27 per kilogram.

In 2022, farmed finfish production in the Atlantic provinces declined 38.8% from 2021. Decreases in New Brunswick (-65.0%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-48.2%)—the historically dominant finfish-producing Atlantic provinces—outweighed increases in Nova Scotia (+55.1%) and Prince Edward Island (+17.2%). The average farmed finfish price in the Atlantic provinces increased by 3.2% from 2021 to 2022, but, given the decline in production, the value of farmed finfish on the East Coast was down 36.9%.

Export quantities for farmed Atlantic salmon, including fillets, decreased 13.0% in 2022 compared with 2021. However, export prices rose 20.3% in 2022 to $12.39 per kilogram, resulting in a 4.7% increase in sales compared with one year earlier to $974.3 million in 2022. The United States accounted for 94.4% of total exports of Canadian farmed Atlantic salmon by quantity.

Steady growth of shellfish industry in Prince Edward Island and British Columbia

In 2022, Prince Edward Island, the country's primary producer of farmed shellfish (accounting for 52.9% of the national farmed shellfish production), increased production by 3.3% compared with 2021. In 2022, sales of farmed shellfish in Canada accounted for 9.3% of total sales of aquaculture products and services and increased 11.8% compared with 2021 to $125.0 million.

In 2022, Prince Edward Island—the largest producer of mussels in Canada—produced 2.4% more mussels than in 2021, totalling 17 440 tonnes. Meanwhile, British Columbia—the largest producer of oysters—produced 8 226 tonnes of oysters in 2022, 3.9% more than in 2021.

Global demand for Canadian mussels declined, as export quantities decreased 1.9% in 2022 compared with 2021. Over the same period, export prices rose 3.9%, and the total value of mussel exports increased 2.0% to $49.2 million.

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