Aquaculture North America

Report says Ontario trout sector could triple supply in 5 years

February 13, 2024
By By ANA staff

Ontario trout sector could triple supply in 5 years. (Photo: Ontario Aquaculture Association)

A recent market assessment and growth plan for Ontario’s trout farming sector shows growth opportunities.

The report says that Steelhead trout production in Ontario has the potential to increase from C$38 million (US$ 27 million) to more than C$200 million (US$147 million) annually using a multi-pronged approach. The report suggests this growth plan could be achieved by:

  • Capturing market share from salmon consumption in Canada,
  • Capturing market share for Ontario trout from imports, and
  • Exporting more trout to the U.S. market, focusing on the regions of southeast and south central United States.

Ontario’s farmed trout sector market assessment and growth plan report observes market trends in Canada and the United States to highlight market demands for more than 15,000 tonnes of Ontario-farmed trout in five years, triple the current supply.

The authors, Tina Rosenstein of Rosenstein Marketing and Terry Drost of Four Links Marketing, combined market data and interviews from 24 representatives across the North American seafood supply chain to share candid and current assessments of both the Canadian and American finfish markets and the opportunity of rainbow trout and steelhead in the coming years.


“This report confirms that Ontario’s trout farming sector faces an issue with supply, not demand,” said RJ Taylor, managing director for the Ontario Aquaculture Association and co-owner of Cedar Crest Trout Farms. “Ontario’s fish farmers are ready and eager to work with government, investors and others in the supply chain to fill this supply gap and provide sustainable trout to more customers than ever before.”

The report also outlines growth plan scenarios for how Ontario’s trout farmers can displace imports, substitute other finfish, and boost exports, with recommendations on how to seize these growth opportunities.

They developed a growth model to demonstrate how the Ontario industry can triple its production by Year 5. Within the plan, two-thirds of the additional production, 9,000 tonnes, will stay in Canada, and the balance 6,000 tonnes will be exported to the U.S.

Lisa Thompson, minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario said the assessment is good for Ontario fish farms. “It aligns with our Grow Ontario Strategy objectives of increasing production and consumption of Ontario-grown foods as well as boosting exports,” said Thompson. “Our government knows the value of having fresh fish produced here at home, and we will work with Ontario fish farmers to realize the opportunities laid out in this report.”  

This landmark assessment and growth plan was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through the Grassroots Growth Program.

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