ABOUT AQUACULTURE IN ONTARIO
Aquaculture is the practice of farming fish or other aquatic species. In Ontario, farmers raise rainbow trout, Arctic char, tilapia, barramundi, and lake whitefish. Rainbow trout account for over of 90% of total production, as they are well suited to growing conditions in the province.
Net pen farming is the most common method of growing fish in Ontario. Broodstock and juvenile trout are raised in tanks and raceways on land-based farms, then transferred to net pens for most of their growing cycle. Currently most of these net-pens are concentrated in Georgian Bay.
Ontario's fish farms are internationally recognized as sustainable means to grow protein. They comply with provincial and federal regulations for water quality and environmental impact, and most hold the Best Aquaculture Practices eco-certification that puts then among the world's most sustainable fish farms.
Everyone deserves food security.
With the global rise in population, there is increased concern about food security. One of the most important challenges that we face is to meet the nutritional needs of a growing population, while producing food sustainably.
Ontario's aquaculture sector produced over 5,570 tonnes of rainbow trout in 2019, as well as an additional 313 tonnes of other finish species, and 14 tonnes of shellfish (Statistics Canada, 2019). This is enough for 107 million meals of tasty, healthy and eco-friendly protein (OAA, 2020).
The aquaculture industry is a large contributor to the Ontario economy, especially in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. The industry had 177 years' worth of direct job creation in 2019, and 150 years' worth of indirect job creation. Additionally, it contributed $126 million CAD to the Ontario economy. Since the industry is continuously increasing, this provides job security to individuals within this sector.
Indigenous communities play a leading role in Ontario's aquaculture sector. Most net-pen farms are either owned, jointly owned or licensed by First Nations community members, with many working on the site. Furthermore, there are more than 30 Indigenous aquaculture projects in the planning and development phases (OAA, 2020).
You can check out more stats about the Ontario aquaculture industry down below:
For more information on current Canadian aquaculture statistics please visit: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/aqua/aqua19-eng.htm