Government of New Brunswick

Salmon aquaculture in New Brunswick began with just one commercial site in 1978 and has since grown to over 90 sites. It now represents the largest single food commodity in New Brunswick in terms of sales value, with an estimated value of $117.3 million in 2013. While St. George is considered the hub of the industry, Deer Island, Campobello, and Grand Manan have also benefited from salmon aquaculture. Of the twelve major salmon producing nations, Canada ranks fourth behind Norway, Chile, and Scotland. New Brunswick represents approximately 40% of all Canadian salmon production.

The success of salmon aquaculture in New Brunswick can be attributed to two factors. First, the pristine waters of the Bay of Fundy with its currents, back eddies, and high tides provides a healthy environment for cultivating fish. Second, the proximity of the industry to the largest seafood markets in the Eastern Seaboard of the United States gives New Brunswick an edge in providing the freshest product. Salmon can be on the table in New England within 24 hours of being removed from the water.

Approximately 60% of the salmon produced in this province is exported to the Northeastern United States. The Canadian market for farmed salmon has grown over the past few years, due in part to the highly publicized health benefits of salmon and omega-3 fatty acids. Exports to the rest of Canada now account for approximately 35% of sales. The remaining 5% are sold locally. The majority of the salmon sold is whole fish that has been gutted, while the rest is sold as value added products such as fillets, steaks, portions and smoked salmon.

The salmon aquaculture industry in New Brunswick employs an estimated 1,500 people in both direct and indirect industries. These include feed production, cage and net manufacturing, boat building and motor sales, fish processing, anchors, moorings and rope sales, transportation and construction industries, fish health and private veterinary services, packaging, research and consulting and schools offering specialized courses. The salmon aquaculture industry accounts for approximately one in every five jobs in Charlotte County.