Canadian Salmon

The Emperor of Fish

Glittering and leaping as they fight their way up the rapids of a Canadian river, salmon are among the world's most splendid fish. Nowadays, Canadian salmon are both farmed and caught wild. Fresh, frozen, smoked or canned in modern plants that use the most exacting standards of quality, they're a cornerstone of the country's seafood industry and are exported all over the world. Indeed, Canada is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of salmon.

The bounty of Canadian salmon helped shape many First Nations cultures, and many Canadian communities on both our Atlantic and Pacific coasts still depend on salmon for their prosperity and livelihoods.

Call of the wild

Most Canadian wild salmon comes from the coast of British Columbia, with sockeye being the most important commercial species. The yearly salmon runs are crucial to the province's economy, and First Nations fishers still use some traditional methods of dipnets and spears to catch the salmon on their way upstream. The commercial fishing fleet works farther offshore, and uses a variety of modern fishing methods.

Wild Pacific salmon is available whole, or dressed into a range of cuts such as steaks, fillets and roasts. A large percentage of the sockeye and pink salmon harvest is canned, and a significant quantity is exported to the United Kingdom and Australia. Canadian wild

salmon is available in many value-added products as well, such as salmon caviar, hot and cold smoked salmon, marinated fillets, frozen salmon entrées, salmon jerky, salted salmon, and salmon burgers and patties. Canadian seafood producers are always developing new value-added salmon products to bring to both the domestic and world markets.

Down on the (fish) farm

Farmed Atlantic salmon make up the bulk of Canada's salmon exports. On the Atlantic coast, salmon farming began in New Brunswick's Bay of Fundy and is now widely practised in Nova Scotia and to a lesser extent in Newfoundland. In British Columbia, salmon aquaculture is centred on Vancouver Island; here, too, the most common farmed species is the Atlantic salmon.

Canadian farmed salmon is available in many different forms tailored to consumer demand. Buyers can purchase them fresh, frozen or smoked, and either whole or dressed into skin-on or skin-off steaks and fillets. Relatively small amounts are canned, but many producers are moving into value-added products such as salmon paté, salmon kabobs, and marinated and peppered salmon steaks.

Nutrition and quality

Salmon is a healthy and nutritious choice for appetizers, entrees and snacks. It is high in protein and is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Because it has a high oil content, it contains significant concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to health benefits such as lower incidences of cardiovascular disease.

Canadian salmon is not only healthy but also very safe to eat, thanks to one of the world's most rigorous fish inspection and control systems, overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which sets stringent standards for fish products, fish processing and fish handling. All establishments that harvest or process salmon for export must be federally registered and must comply strictly with international Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.

The CFIA also inspects salmon for contaminants and ensures that the results fall within the guidelines established by Health Canada, another federal government department. These guidelines meet the standards of both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.

Taste the Canadian difference

Taken from some of the most pristine waters in the world, Canadian salmon is praised everywhere for its freshness and taste. For further information on Canada's salmon industry, please visit:

Government websites

Industry websites


Trade Statistics

The following tables represent Canada's total trade in a given export commodity based on Statistics Canada data. The product categories represent HS code groupings and have not been modified. In most cases, statistics have been presented at the 6 or 8 digit level. Statistics are presented in Canadian dollars and are complete through year end 2010.

HS Codes 0302

  • 03021211 - Atlantic salmon, farmed, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021212 - Atlantic salmon, not farmed, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021221 - Spring salmon, farmed, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021222 - Spring salmon, not farmed, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021231 - Coho salmon, farmed, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021232 - Coho salmon, not farmed, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021240 - Chum salmon, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021250 - Pink salmon, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021260 - Sockeye salmon, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021290 - Pacific & Danube salmon, nes, fr or chd, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03021900 - Salmonidae, nes, fresh or chilled, excl heading 03.04, livers and roes

HS Codes 0303

  • 03031100 - Sockeye salmon (red salmon)(Oncorhync hus nerka), frz, excl heading 03.04,livers & roes
  • 03031910 - Chum salmon, frozen, excluding heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03031920 - Coho salmon, frozen, excluding heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03031930 - Spring salmon, frozen, excluding heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03031940 - Pink salmon, frozen, excluding heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03031990 - Salmon, Pacific, frozen, nes, excluding heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03032200 - Salmon Atlantic & Danube, frozen, excluding heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03032900 - Salmonidae, nes, frozen, excluding heading 03.04, livers and roes
  • 03038030 - Salmon roe, frozen

HS Codes 0304

  • 03041031 - Salmon, Atlantic, fillets, fresh or chilled
  • 03041039 - Salmon nes, fillets, fresh or chilled
  • 03041931 - Salmon, Atlantic, fillets, fresh or chilled
  • 03041939 - Salmon, nes, fillets, fresh or chilled
  • 03042029 - Salmonidae fillets, nes, frozen
  • 03042929 - Salmonidae fillets, nes, frozen

HS Codes 0305

  • 03052030 - Salmon roe, dried, smoked, salted or in brine
  • 03054100 - Salmon, Pacific, Atlantic and Danube, smoked including fillets
  • 03056992 - Salmon, salted or in brine, but not dried or smoked

HS Codes 1604

  • 16041111 - Chum salmon, in airtight containers
  • 16041112 - Coho salmon, in airtight containers
  • 16041113 - Pink salmon, in airtight containers
  • 16041114 - Sockeye salmon, in airtight containers
  • 16041119 - Salmon nes, in airtight containers
  • 16041190 - Salmon, exc in airtight containers, prepared, whole or in pieces
Canada's Exports to All Countries ($CAD)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
0302 463,186,104 470,353,905 468,587,555 506,456,979 9.3%
0304 64,748,854 88,073,974 82,564,345 104,659,703 61.6%
0303 36,240,130 23,446,124 32,458,343 62,986,425 73.8%
1604 40,026,031 42,873,390 28,879,120 36,750,710 -8.2%
0305 6,113,193 4,998,113 4,016,231 5,529,869 -9.5%

Canada's Exports to All Countries (Quantity, KGM)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
0302 74,495,679 77,487,100 71,643,447 80,246,579 7.7%
0304 6,012,287 7,612,918 6,606,880 8,771,335 45.9%
0303 8,400,576 4,027,023 8,037,380 8,635,272 2.8%
1604 5,061,971 6,155,012 3,845,565 5,819,826 15.0%
0305 363,374 224,910 188,019 275,717 -24.1%

Canada's Monthly Exports to All Countries
(HS Codes 0302, 0303, 0304, 0305, 1604, Value $CAD)
Month 2007 2008 2009 2010
Jan 50,282,837 48,685,038 57,196,211 52,210,182
Feb 47,693,351 46,488,658 51,499,654 49,008,759
Mar 59,734,372 50,712,173 53,426,059 58,622,712
Apr 56,235,943 52,287,184 59,485,924 50,921,586
May 57,560,639 56,249,407 55,040,543 50,330,418
Jun 50,594,292 52,006,876 50,928,428 49,069,847
Jul 47,347,329 46,271,892 49,844,752 58,412,853
Aug 52,301,577 55,562,648 46,660,312 73,448,077
Sep 49,629,377 52,193,696 46,790,121 93,508,385
Oct 44,142,776 56,419,227 49,916,049 69,835,550
Nov 44,627,080 53,101,762 43,398,968 55,615,487
Dec 50,164,739 59,766,945 52,318,573 55,399,830
TOTAL 610,314,312 629,745,506 616,505,594 716,383,686

Canada's Exports to All Countries by province
(HS Codes 0302, 0303, 0304, 0305, 1604, Value $CAD)
Province 2007 2008 2009 2010
Alberta 0 0 145,600 377,788
British Columbia 461,297,119 454,249,169 440,880,330 511,099,098
Manitoba 14,922 0 8,160 13,710
New Brunswick 129,243,466 163,368,089 171,658,683 199,090,944
Newfoundland and Labrador 14,293,954 8,020,622 135,777 403,149
Northwest Territories 0 8,177 30,111 121,999
Nova Scotia 2,383,021 1,561,062 430,389 1,521,103
Nunavut 0 27,638 65,730 90,968
Ontario 1,043,832 792,699 615,462 748,537
Prince Edward Island 1,756,322 1,327,289 1,261,853 1,871,343
Québec 281,676 390,761 1,273,499 1,045,047

Canada's Top 10 Salmon Markets
(HS Codes 0302, 0303, 0304, 0305, 1604, Value $CAD)
Country 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007- 2010
TOTAL: 610,314,312 629,745,506 616,505,594 716,383,686 17.4%
United States 514,250,884 534,674,093 544,789,749 586,754,182 14.1%
Japan 32,298,262 32,779,530 17,991,974 70,613,833 118.6%
United Kingdom 22,897,750 21,153,137 16,723,296 19,011,913 -17.0%
China 4,159,415 1,543,943 6,023,691 9,147,750 119.9%
Hong Kong 1,209,465 3,013,701 1,915,798 4,744,868 292.3%
Australia 3,981,182 6,027,055 4,965,705 4,675,373 17.4%
Belgium 3,255,053 4,293,404 1,562,700 4,593,579 41.1%
New Zealand 3,251,920 3,976,274 1,410,365 4,003,671 23.1%
Taiwan 3,492,745 5,636,167 2,635,548 2,160,761 -38.1%
Germany 3,465,990 4,045,732 3,917,470 1,954,488 -43.6%