The BC shellfish industry has seen a steady increase in the quantity and quality of their production since the late 1990�s. Growers are implementing improvements to their operations gained through research, technology transfer and mechanization. Access to reliable hatchery seed stocks and new suspended culture technologies are also playing a role as is diversification into alternative species and high value product forms. There is a new generation of farmer determined to pursue sustainable aquaculture as both a career and a lifestyle. Global airfreight services are opening up strong international export markets for world-class quality products developments in such
The shellfish sector is expected to grow from the current wholesale value of $20 million in 2002 to $70 million in 2007. The existing oyster and clam industry will contribute $30 million to that growth. New species aquaculture, such as mussels, geoducks, varnish clams and scallops will represent the $20 million growth.
Increasing productivity from existing tenures, rather than focusing on the issuing of new tenures will achieve growth. Current evidence indicates that productivity from existing sites is still low by industry standards.
Part of the vision is to double the average productivity from existing tenures to $20,000 her ha by 2007. This figure is half of the average productivity in New Zealand of $40,000 her ha, and is considered by the industry to be reasonable.