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Minister Shea announces that Canadian seafood exports continued to grow in 2013

posted Mar 31, 2014, 6:28 AM by SOS SaveOceanScience   [ updated Mar 31, 2014, 6:28 AM ]

2013 data greatly encouraging, pointing to biggest yearly increase in three years.

March 16, 2014 - Boston, Massachussets

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today released the 2013 trade figures for Canada’s exports of fish and seafood products. Once again, Canada’s seafood exports continued an upward trend, with an overall increase of $268 million or 6.5 percent over the previous year, with total sales reaching $4.42 billion.

Canada’s biggest seafood export increase overall was to the U.S., which saw an 8 percent ($217 million) increase over the previous year, followed closely by the European Union with an 8.3 percent ($28.6 million) export growth. Canada and the European Union last year agreed on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which has been widely welcomed as a major boon for the industry. 

The Government of Canada also announced on March 11, that Canada and the Republic of Korea have concluded negotiations for a Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. The agreement will significantly boost trade between the two countries, eliminating all South Korea’s average tariff of 16.5 per cent in this sector, which includes tariff peaks as high as 47 per cent, on fish and seafood products.

Minister Shea is currently leading the Canadian delegation at North America’s largest seafood trade event, Seafood Expo North America on March 16 to 18, where she promoted Canada’s role in ensuring very well regulated and sustainable seafood.

Quick Facts

  • Canada exported fish and seafood products to 123 countries last year, with approximately 63 percent of those exports destined for the United States at a value of $2.8 billion.
  • The People’s Republic of China and the European Union are also significant markets, importing more than $454 million and $372 million worth of Canadian fish and seafood products respectively in 2013.
  • Canada’s largest exports by value were lobster, snow/queen crab, farmed Atlantic salmon, and shrimp. In 2013, these species accounted for 47 percent (281 thousand tonnes) of all fish and seafood exports by volume and 62 percent ($2.7 billion) of the total value of exports.
  • Aquaculture now supplies over 50% of the global demand for fish and seafood and is the fastest growing food production sector. 
  • In 2013, aquaculture accounted for 13% of Canada’s total seafood production and 35% of total seafood value. The sector supports over 14,000 jobs in rural areas, and increasingly in Aboriginal communities.


“Our Government is committed to maximize economic opportunities in the fisheries, seafood and aquaculture sectors while ensuing their responsible and sustainable management. This upward trend in exports is great news, and we can expect more significant growth over the coming years with our recent trade agreements with the European Union and South Korea.”

The Honourable Gail Shea
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

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Associated Links

  • For more information about Canadian fish and seafood exports and other useful statistics, consult the backgrounder Provincial and Territorial Statistics on Canada’s Fish and Seafood Exports in 2013 on the Fisheries and Oceans website or visit
  • Read more about Canada’s commitment to sustainability in our wild capture fishery and aquaculture sectors at

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Media contacts

Frank Stanek
Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Sophie Doucet
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Date Modified: 2014-03-16