Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 13, 2009 12:41 ET

Minister Shea Announces 2008 Export Figures for Canada's Fish and Seafood Products

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 13, 2009) - On the eve of the annual International Boston Seafood Show, the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced preliminary international trade figures showing that Canada's exports of fish and seafood products reached $3.9 billion in 2008.

"Canada's fishing and aquaculture industry demonstrated a strong, stable performance in international trade markets in 2008," said Minister Shea. "Our fish and seafood exports continue to provide a significant contribution to Canada's economic prosperity- both nationally and regionally."

Canada is the sixth largest exporter of fish and seafood products in the world, with exports to more than 130 countries. Seafood is the largest single food commodity exported by Canada. The overall quantity of fish and seafood exported in 2008 was approximately 632,000 metric tonnes, and the value of these exports increased by 0.5 per cent compared to 2007.

"Federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and industry stakeholders, have been working to ensure that fishing and aquaculture operations are conducted in a sustainable way and continue to contribute to a viable and prosperous sector," said Minister Shea. "These export figures indicate that our efforts are resulting in stable and predictable returns for Canadian participants in the global seafood marketplace."

Preliminary international trade figures for Canadian fish and seafood exports were released in advance of the annual International Boston Seafood Show. Thousands of Canadian and international seafood professionals gather at the event to sample and enjoy fresh, frozen, value-added, processed, and packaged seafood from fisheries and aquaculture industries around the globe.

Minister Shea will attend the Show on March 15 and 16, 2009, to promote Canada's sustainable fish and seafood industry and its competitive presence in this market. The Minister will also participate in a breakfast round table with industry stakeholders, and will address invited guests including US buyers, Canadian industry and provincial fisheries ministers at a luncheon on March 15.

More detailed information about Canada's fish and seafood exports can be found at Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Statistical Services at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/communic/statistics/main_e.htm or by e-mail at infostat@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.


BACKGROUNDER

Provincial Breakdown of Canadian Fish and Seafood Exports in 2008

Preliminary international trade figures showing that Canada's exports of fish and seafood products reached $3.9 billion in 2008. More than half of Canadian fish and seafood exports are destined for the United States. The value of exports to the United States was up by about 2% last year to more than $2.4 billion, with the overall volume of exports remaining stable at around 328,000 tonnes.

The European Union is a significant market, importing $489 million, or about 14 per cent of Canada's fish and seafood products. Japan remains our third largest trading partner for Canada's fish products, with exports worth $294 million last year. China is Canada's fourth largest market for seafood products with exports increasing to $259 million in 2008.

Canada's four most valuable exports by species were lobster, crab, salmon and shrimp. These species account for 46 per cent of all fish and seafood exports by volume and 65% of the value. Lobster remains number one, with exports approaching a billion dollars.

In 2008, the largest Canadian exporting provinces of fish and seafood were British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island.

BRITISH COLUMBIA:

- British Columbia led the country last year in fish and seafood exports, with a total value of $910.9 million.

- Exported 170,368 t of fish and seafood in 2008.

- The three most important species in terms of value were farmed Atlantic salmon (54,098 t valued at $334.5 million), hake (33,327 t valued at $65.6 million), and crab (6,830 t valued at $55 million).

NOVA SCOTIA:

- Canada's second leading exporter of fish and seafood products in 2008 with a value of $846.5 million.

- Exported 118,928 tonnes (t) of fish and seafood in 2008.

- Nova Scotia's most valuable species were lobster (21,897 t valued at $352 million), scallops (5,843 t valued at $95.1 million), and crab (8,374 t valued at $78.9 million)

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR:

- Canada's third leading exporter of fish and seafood products in 2008 with a value of $811 million.

- Exported 175,407 t of fish and seafood in 2008.

- Newfoundland and Labrador's top three species were crab (29,011 t with a value of $269 million), shrimp/prawn (57,056 t valued at $238.5 million) and mackerel (20,791 t valued at $43.2 million)

NEW BRUNSWICK:

- Canada's fourth leading exporter of fish and seafood products in 2008 with a value of $756.7 million.

- Exported 97,948 t of fish and seafood in 2008.

- Its top three species were lobster (14,213 t valued at $364 million), farmed Atlantic salmon (23, 752 t valued at $161 million), and snow/queen crab (9,514 t at a value of $91.7 million).

QUEBEC:

- Canada's fifth leading exporter of fish and seafood products in 2008 with a value of $230.6 million.

- Exported 28,655 t of fish and seafood in 2008.

- The top three species were snow/queen crab (7,445 t valued at $69.3 million), lobster (1,619 t valued at $44.5 million) and shrimp/prawn (2,403 t valued at $21.1 million).


PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND:

- Canada's sixth leading exporter of fish and seafood products in 2008 with a value of $200.8 million.

- Exported 18,967 t of fish and seafood in 2008.

- Its top three species were lobster (5,741 t valued at $149.4 million), mussels (9,636 t valued at $27.8 million), and crab (759 t with a value of $7.3 million).

More detailed information about Canada's fish and seafood exports can be found at Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Statistical Services at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/communic/statistics/main_e.htm

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    613-990-7537
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Ann Matejicka
    Director of Communications
    613-992-3474
    www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca