Volume Down, Quality Up for Canada’s Fish and Seafood Exports

Canada’s fish and seafood exports totaled $4.3 billion in 2005
March 14, 2006

Volume Down, Quality Up for Canada’s Fish and Seafood Exports



The Honorable Loyola Hearn, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced that Canada’s fish and seafood exports totaled $4.3 billion in 2005.


"Canada continues to benefit from exceptional export figures by providing quality fish and seafood products to markets world-wide," said Minister Hearn. "I’m pleased to see the demand for Canadian seafood is so high."


Although Canada’s exports were down $156-million in value in 2005, the quantity of fish and seafood products exported increased. More than 703,000 tonnes of Canadian fish and seafood products were exported worldwide last year – up 2.6 per cent compared to 2004.


In 2005, the value of the Canadian dollar was 2.2 per cent higher than in 2004, which partly accounts for the lower value in exports. It was a down year for crab, which decreased in overall value by 30 per cent from 2004. There were a number of factors for the decline of crab prices, including disputes between harvesters and processors, unusually high prices in 2004 that led to excess inventory, the strong Canadian dollar, and higher landings in the Alaskan king crab fishery.


"The Canadian export figures show how our fishing industry is staying competitive even with the rising value of the Canadian dollar," said Minister Hearn. "The hard work and dedication by all those employed in the fishing industry, from sea to market, is what makes Canada the fifth largest seafood exporter in the world."


The United States remains Canada’s largest export destination, with 62 per cent of its seafood products, valued at $2.7 billion, sold to the U.S. market. Japan ranked second with Canadian seafood imports valued at more than $471 million. China and Hong Kong followed at $383 million. Exports to the United Kingdom totaled $104 million while Denmark imported $102 million in Canadian fish and seafood products.


The top three species exported from Canada last year were lobster, crab, and salmon (farmed and wild) with a combined value of almost $2.3 billion. They accounted for 53 per cent of Canada’s seafood exports. Lobster exports were valued at $991.7 million, followed by crab, worth $646.5 million, and salmon, at $641.5 million. Other major export species included shrimp, herring, scallops, cod, halibut, and clams.


Nova Scotia was once again the largest exporting province at $1.03 billion, with its top-valued products – lobster, crab, and shrimp – accounting for more than $622.7 million. British Columbia was the second largest exporting province at $995 million. Newfoundland and Labrador ranked third, with exports worth $886.6 million – shrimp, crab, and Atlantic cod being its highest-selling products. New Brunswick ranked fourth at $832.3 million, Prince Edward Island came in fifth, at $208.8 million, and Quebec came in sixth at $201 million.


More information

Provincial Breakdown of Canadian Fish and Seafood Exports in 2005


For further information on Canada’s seafood export statistics, see Fisheries and Oceans’ Statistical Services website