Economic impact of Aquaculture

Value of salmon farming confirmed by independent study

The importance of BC’s salmon farming industry to the economy of north Vancouver Island has been confirmed in a report undertaken by the Regional District of Mount Waddington and Living Oceans Society.

The study, received March 15 by the regional district board, rates aquaculture as the largest contributor among marine resource sectors in the area. Worth $178.3 million in revenue, $19.2 million in wages and 400-person years of employment within the regional district directly, this report emphasizes the important role aquaculture plays in communities such as Port Hardy and Port McNeill.

“Our contribution to local communities – not only through direct employment, but indirect business support, donations, scholarships and more – is something we’re very proud of,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association.  “Building an economic cluster that supports these communities is very important to us.”

The report, prepared by GSGislason and Associates Ltd. from Vancouver is unique in that it looks specifically at the role of the marine environment in the economy of the regional district.  After salmon farming, the next largest contributor is commercial fisheries, with $8.3 million in wages and 305 person-years of employment.

The study is also interesting in that it isolates the benefit to the local economy – including only job, wages and benefits that are directly contributing within the regional district.

“It’s great for communities on the North Island to have a clear reference of what the industry is providing economically,” said Walling. “We know that’s only part of the bigger picture – that the industry in those communities contributes outside of the regional district borders and is important to the whole province.”

The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who supply services and supplies to the industry. Salmon-farming provides for 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while contributing $800-million to the provincial economy each year.


For more information:
Colleen Dane
Communications Manager, BCSFA
(250) 286-1636 x225

To see the full study, click here.

To review a socio-economic impact study produced by Department of Fisheries and Oceans last year, click here.

For more information from BC salmon farmers about economic benefits of our business, visit

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