CANADA - The Canadian government is to grant nearly C$2.5 million over two years to the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA).
The grant is intended to help the aquaculture industry increase the domestic and international market share for Canadian aquaculture products.
This investment will enable the CAIA to do market research, attend international trade shows and lead missions to raise awareness of Canadian farmed seafood products and target marketing activities for farmed salmon, mussels, sablefish, sturgeon and oysters.
The primary international target markets are the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe.
Canada's aquaculture sector is primarily an export sector, with over 85 per cent of its production sold abroad.
The export value of aquaculture products is approximately C$576 million.
In 2013, Atlantic salmon dominated farmed exports, with a total value of C$502.5 million.
Oyster and mussel exports come next, with export sale values of C$41.3 million and C$21 million respectively.
Canada ranks 26th in world aquaculture in terms of production and 20th in terms of the value of the production. Canada is the fourth-largest salmon-producing country after Norway, Chile, and the United Kingdom.
Canadian fish and seafood products' exports, which include aquaculture products, continued to grow once again in 2014 with total sales of fish and seafood totalling C$4.9 billion.
This represented an overall increase of C$517 million or 11.9 per cent from the previous year.
Aquaculture now accounts for nearly 50 per cent of seafood consumed worldwide.
This investment is being made through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriMarketing Program, which is a five-year, up to C$341 million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework.
"Aquaculture represents nearly 50 per cent of seafood consumed worldwide,” said Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries.
“Thanks to our Government ambitious free trade agenda, economic opportunities for this sector are greater than ever.
“We are proud to support this industry in their efforts to market and promote high-quality products to key international markets while creating employment opportunities and economic growth in rural, Aboriginal and coastal communities."
Terry Ennis, President of CAIA, said: "This is welcome news for the Canadian farmed seafood industry and will create much-needed employment and economic benefits for rural and coastal communities across the country.
“Canada has some of the freshest and highest-quality seafood in the world, and today's announcement will help our industry seek out new global market opportunities for it."
TheFishSite News Desk