Statistics released today by the provincial government indicate the total value of seafood production in the province remained steady at $1 billion in 2012.
A news release stated that total production volume reached 137,000 tonnes. The United States, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Denmark remained the provinces top five export markets, representing $740 million in sales.
“The seafood industry contributes significantly to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy and this province is an important player on the world stage,” said Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
“There were over 20,000 jobs within the processing and harvesting sectors last year, and the fish produced continued to be world-class in terms of quality and taste.”
Seafood production declined slightly from 2011 but remained high from a historical perspective. The average market price for cooked and peeled coldwater shrimp peaked in 2011 and remained at that level for 2012, while market prices for other key species declined. The market price for snow crab five to eight ounce sections declined slightly in 2012 as well, after reaching a record level in 2011.
Aquaculture production volume grew overall, although there was a decrease of six per cent in market value. The price of salmon began to rebound toward the end of 2012 and is anticipated to stay strong for 2013.
Employment growth was slowed by competing employment opportunities and the aging workforce. Still, over 20,000 people worked in the seafood industry throughout Newfoundland and Labrador last year.