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Salmon harvest at a farming centre. (Photo: Stock File)

Farmed salmon exports to Asia grow at record pace

  (CANADA, 8/1/2016)

Farm-raised salmon exports to key Asian markets was on a record setting pace in the first five months of the year with many markets already eclipsing previous annual volumes, according to data from Stats Canada.

“Boosting BC exports to Asia is a point of pride for communities and First Nations that work in and support the salmon farm industry,” pointed out Jeremy Dunn,  BC Salmon Farmers Association Executive Director.

“We recently hosted 30 international buyers at the BC Seafood Festival in June, so it’s great to see our sustainable, healthy product on more plates in Asia,” Dunn said.

Rapidly growing markets for B.C. farm-raised salmon include Taiwan and South Korea.

For his part, Nick DiCarlo, Sales Manager for Cermaq Canada stressed: “Overall our sales to Asia are doing very well thanks in part to excellent quality and B.C.'s strategic location, which allows us to get fresh salmon to market in half the time than any other major salmon producing country.”

“There is a strong global demand for salmon and we can boost B.C.’s exports further if provided the opportunity to carefully grow the industry,” Di Carlo highlighted.

In this regard, Dave Mergle, Managing Director for Ocean Quality North America, commented that as a global producer they have the advantage of having their own sales team living in the region, which is what helped them to quickly reach the right customers.

“Our customers really like farmed salmon from British Columbia and we see much future growth ahead,” Mergle added.

Furthermore, Statistics Canada revealed that during the analysed period, exports of whole fresh farm-raised Atlantic salmon to Japan reached 97 per cent of the total export volume for 2015.

So far this year, exports to Taiwan for 2016 have already exceeded the 2015 total and sales to South Korea have been up 10-fold over 2015 numbers, with over 29,000 kg exported.

Further data showed that BC exported a record 54.4 million kilograms of farm-raised salmon to 11 countries in 2015 and that key markets such as China and the United States are on-par or ahead of 2015 exports.

China is now B.C.’s second most important market, next to the United States; the U.S. has historically been the sector’s primary export market and remains so.

Salmon farming has a total economic impact of CAD 1.1 billion in British Columbia and accounts for more than 5,000 total jobs.

Besides, salmon farmers are working closely with coastal First Nations and have 20 economic impact benefit agreements in place, accounting for 78 per cent of all salmon raised in B.C.

 
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