BC’s record-breaking exports

The global demand for BC farm-raised salmon is at an all-time high, with growing exports to Asia offering particular encouragement for the province's producers.


British Columbia set a new record for exports of farm-raised salmon in 2015, and is on track to set new records in 2016 as well.  The most encouraging numbers in the final data released by Statistics Canada are those that show an emerging appetite in China, with exports from BC more than doubling over the previous high in 2012.

China is now BC’s second most important market, after the United States, which has historically been the sector’s primary export market, and remains so today.  Trade with Asia overall is up 38% over the previous record in 2013, with BC exporting fresh farm-raised salmon for the first time to South Korea, a market that shows great potential as Canada and South Korea implement the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Overall, BC exported a record 54.4M kilograms of farm-raised salmon to 11 countries.

“Demand for salmon raised in BC has never been higher,” said Jeremy Dunn, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. “The United States remains our most important trading partner, and will be so for some time, however we are encouraged at the market diversification and the prospects for growing demand in the future – particularly in Asia.”

Exports of farm-raised Atlantic salmon by numbers (all prices in CAD)

  • New record exports to China: 1,250 tonnes (worth $9.2 million) – an increase of volume of 140%  from the previous high in 2012.
  • New record exports to the United States: 52,150 tonnes (a value of $404.9 million) – a 2% increase in volume from the previous record in 2012, but a 40% increase in export value from the previous high in 2012.
  • BC producers exported 2,839 tonnes to Asia in 2015 with a total value of $20.5 million - a 30% increase in value over the previous record in 2013.
  • BC accounts for 63% of the Canadian export value to the US.
  • BC’s total 2015 farm-raised salmon export value was $431.6 million

Salmon farming has a total economic impact of $1.1-billion in British Columbia and accounts for more than 5,000 total jobs.  Salmon farmers are working closely with coastal First Nations with 19 economic impact benefit agreements in place, accounting for 78% of all salmon raised in BC.