Import-Export of Seafood to Canada Author’s Name Institutional Affiliation Abstract In the year 2008, the importation of marine, freshwater and aquaculture products into Canada got to the $2.24 billion mark. This marked a 2% increase from the previous year’s volume by an estimated $35 million…
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This was however 4% lower than the total value attained in 2007. These statistics bring into perspective the nature and scope of the trade in seafood in Canada, a major product in both imports and exports in Canada. This paper delves into the aspects of importation of seafood into Canada. Particular emphasis is placed on the kind of seafood imported into Canada, the export policies of the countries from which the seafood is imported from, the duties involved, the trade licenses and documentation required, the current major importers of seafood into Canada, as well as the price range for the products imported. Keywords: Imports, Exports, Species, Seafood, Fisheries Introduction The global trade in seafood is a daunting and complex task. This is due to the fact that there are a myriad of species of seafood that are available for commercial benefits. In comparison to the approximately 15 species of birds and mammals that provide commercial benefits, there are over 800 species of aquatic organisms providing the same benefit (Anderson, 2003). Additionally, there are numerous product forms of seafood with various species being packaged as dried, frozen, salted, smoked, breaded portions, canned, fresh, and boneless, and individually quick frozen products such as clam juice and fish meals and oils. To add to this complexity, there are at least 190 countries that are involved in the trade of seafood worldwide (Anderson, 2003). International trade in seafood has been heightened by a variety of factors. Key among them is the advancement in technology applied in the processes of harvesting, shipping, and processing; reduction of international trade barriers in the trade of seafood; and innovations of fisheries management systems. The development of aquaculture and aquaculture systems has also promoted the global trade in seafood, making it more competitive and diverse (Anderson, 2003). Importation of Seafood in Canada In Canada, in the 1970s and 1980s, the value of imports and exports of seafood increased progressively. However, in the 1990s the major species of ground-fish in the North Atlantic collapsed, leading to a major decline in the surplus that Canada posted in the trade. For instance, the rate of harvest of Atlantic cod had dropped from a high of 482,800 metric tons in 1989, to a low of 23,900 metric tons in 1994 (Anderson, 2003). The surplus had dropped to $1 billion in 1997. This figure however increased by an estimated 400 million by the year 2000, resulting in an overall increase in the value of the surplus to $1.4 billion (Anderson, 2003). The primary imports comprise of shrimps, canned tuna, and prawns, while the primary exports comprise of lobsters, frozen crabs, and farmed Atlantic salmon (Anderson, 2003). OECD states that the total quantity and value of seafood and fish imported into Canada lessened from 2007 to 2009. The main contributors to this occurrence were the global economic crisis and the resulting decline in the demand for seafood products in the Canadian market. Consumption of seafood products and fish decreased within this period, as they are mostly considered to be luxury commodities (2012). According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the three major categories of fish imported into Canada are; ground-fish such as cod fish, halibut, and haddock among others; pelagic fish such as tuna, farmed and wild salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel; and shellfish such as lobsters, prawns, shrimps,
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