Salmon farmers in Atlantic Canada. In a poll of 1,500 adults, 86% agreed salmon farming provides important employment opportunities. Photo: ACFFA video.

Four out of five back aquaculture in Canadian poll

An opinion poll has found 81% of Atlantic Canadians support aquaculture and agree that local salmon farming is a reliable and sustainable source of protein.

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Released today, the survey also found 87% of Atlantic Canadians agree sustainable aquaculture helps to ensure food security in the region.

“Covid-19 has shined a bright light on food security for the first time in years and highlighted food shortages and vulnerabilities within the Atlantic provinces, including our dependence on imported food,” said Susan Farquharson, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers’ Association (ACFFA), which commissioned the poll.

“At this time in history, domestic food production is more important than ever. Atlantic salmon is a healthy and natural local food, and the poll found widespread agreement that salmon farming is a reliable and sustainable source of protein.”

Eat local

The poll also found:

  • 87% agree the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted vulnerability to food shortages and dependence on imported food.
  • 65% have increased consumption of local foods since the pandemic shutdown.
  • 89% plan to eat more local foods once the pandemic shutdown is over.
  • 94% agree domestic food production will become increasingly important for the region’s economic future.
  • 86% agree local salmon farming provides important employment opportunities.
  • 79% agree salmon farming is an important contributor to their local economy.
Susan Farquharson: "Atlantic Canadians know the world needs both wild and farmed seafood."

Consistent support

“Demand for seafood continues to grow around the world. Aquaculture - including salmon farming - continues to help meet that demand by supplying more than 50% of seafood globally,” said Farquharson in a press release.

“Atlantic Canadians know the world needs both wild and farmed seafood. Support for salmon farming has consistently been strong in this region, as our farmers have worked alongside traditional fishers and the tourism sector since the industry began more than 40 years ago.”

The survey found Atlantic Canadians indicate that providing jobs and producing local food are the main roles the aquaculture industry can play in the Atlantic region once the pandemic lockdown is over.

The survey was conducted by telephone with 1,500 Atlantic Canadians aged 18 and over from April 29 to May 12, 2020 by Narrative Research as part of its Atlantic Quarterly Survey. The results are accurate to within 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.