Under pressure

When it comes to exporting fish and seafood, Atlantic Canada takes a backseat to no one in Canada

Fish and seafood is big business in Canada. In 2012, Canada exported $4.1 billion worth of the stuff, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It will probably come as no surprise to Atlantic Canadians that their region was responsible for a substantial amount of that financial harvest. In total, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island accounted for $2.85 billion, or 69 per cent, of the value of Canada’s fish and seafood exports.

NEW BRUNSWICK The province was Canada’s largest exporter of fish and seafood in 2012 with exports valued at $967.2 million. Lobster was the top seafood export by value (22,058 tonnes exported and valued at $475.4 million) with farmed Atlantic salmon coming in a distant second (35,620 tonnes/$210.8 million) and snow and queen crab (8,736 tonnes/$99.1 million) taking third place.

NOVA SCOTIA Canada’s Ocean Playground was the country’s second largest exporter of fish and seafood in 2012 with exports valued at $915.4 million. Lobster was its top export by value, but while Nova Scotia exported more tonnes of lobster than New Brunswick (25,924 compared to 22,058), it raked in approximately $100 million less ($373.5 million) for the catch. Scallops were Nova Scotia’s third-most valuable seafood export ($98.2 million).

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR Snow and queen crab were king for Canada’s most easterly province. The country’s fourth-largest exporter, whose fish and seafood exports were valued at $871.5 million, sold 24,570 tonnes of snow and queen and got $266.5 million, making it its top export by value. Shrimp was its second-most valuable export bringing in $234 million. The province also exported 136,462 tonnes of fish and seafood, more than any other Atlantic province.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND The country’s smallest province by population punched above its weight when it came to exporting fish and seafood, ranking sixth in Canada with seafood exports valued at $197.5 million. Like New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, lobster was P.E.I.’s top export by value, generating $134 million. Mollusks figured prominently in the financial haul as mussels ($37.3 million) and oysters ($4.7 million) were P.E.I.’s second and third top exports, respectively, by value.

Source: Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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