If Atlantic Canada wants to have a strong aquaculture industry, then they must not put "all [their] eggs into one salmon basket". This was the key message from Professor Thierry Chopin, University of New Brunswick, when he presented at the Aquaculture Canada and Coldwater Harvest 2016 Conference held in St Johns, Newfoundland, this month.
Presenting 30 years of aquaculture and fishery data from across Atlantic Canada, Professor Chopin demonstrated that the production and value of finfish aquaculture, which is dominated by Atlantic salmon, peaked in 2012, but has since declined to the same levels as seen in 1999. Shellfish aquaculture value has shown some increase (in line with increasing production), though it remains at lower levels than for finfish. The picture is rather different for the lobster fishery, which has seen increases in its production and value.
These findings are in stark contrast to a popular belief that aquaculture – and in particular salmon aquaculture – is still on the increase in the region. Moreover, although the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reports that we have reached, or are about to reach, the 50/50 capture fisheries/aquaculture seafood supply threshold worldwide, this is not the case in this region...
This article was written for (and can be read in full at) The Fish Site.