Canada exports farmed seafood products to more than 22 countries and is the main seafood supplier to the U.S. market. Finfish, primarily salmon, production is strong and shellfish production is growing, but diversification will be imperative to maintain competitiveness.
Seaweed aquaculture represents approximately half of the world mariculture production, but since seaweed farming is mostly concentrated in Asian countries, there is a lack of appreciation for this resource in the Western world.
In integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, farmers combine the cultivation of fed species such as finfish or shrimp with extractive seaweeds, aquatic plants and shellfish and other invertebrates that recapture organic and inorganic particulate nutrients for their growth.
Seaweed remains a relatively untapped resource with potential as edible food, feed ingredients, cosmetics, agrichemicals, biomaterials and bioenergy molecules.
Seaweed plays key roles in Earth processes as a primary producer and link in the food webs of coastal and estuarine ecosystems.
Regulatory frameworks and financial incentives may be required to fully realize the benefits of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems.