The Manitoba Advantage in Fish Protein

Manitoba offers many advantages to expand the fish protein sector. Fish is a high quality protein source acquired by commercial fishing and aquaculture. Aquaculture in Manitoba scores a green rating with eco-certification bodies. The province has an abundance of high quality freshwater resources, including pristine lakes and groundwater availability. Many areas in Manitoba have affordable land, favourable groundwater and access to hydro electricity to support the aquaculture industry.  The fish industry in Manitoba is well positioned to provide unique, high quality products to the seafood market. These products align with major trends, such as certified sustainable, healthy and convenient for consumers.


Manitoba’s Fish Industry

Aquaculture in Manitoba is a new sustainable protein industry that complements Manitoba’s commercial fishing, processing and marketing. Most commercial aquaculture in Manitoba takes place in land based, indoor, contained rearing conditions, using recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).  Aquaculture operators are diversifying fish protein in Manitoba by farming new freshwater species including rainbow (or steelhead) trout and arctic char.

  • The 2019 aquaculture production is expected to reach an all-time high of over 100,000 kilograms per year, contributing an estimated $1.3 million in revenue. The upward trend is expected to continue and reach 300,000 kilograms per year by 2022.
  • Ridgeland Aquafarm has invested over $2.5 million in new fish production and processing facility, which became operational towards the end of 2019, increasing production capacity.  
  •  Manitoba’s fisheries produce approximately 12 million kilograms per year across all species.

In December 2017, Manitoba’s fishery shifted to flexible fish marketing that has created opportunity for new entrants in the fish processing industry. Existing fish processing and marketing capacity can support the fish and aquaculture industry as it evolves, and it continues to provide high quality protein options to the market. 


The majority of fish farmed or caught in Manitoba is processed locally, including the production and marketing of value-added fish products. Transportation infrastructure exists to support the fish industry as product moves through the supply chain to premium markets. In addition to being consumed locally, Manitoba fish products are marketed across Canada and a large proportion is exported to the United States. Products also enter European and Asian markets, including China. 



Market and Consumer Trends

A growing global population is demanding healthy protein from sustainable sources, which has led to rapid growth of aquaculture, the fastest growing food production industry worldwide. 


Manitoba hosted the Canadian Model Aqua-Farm Initiative, which helped to establish a profitable, turn-key commercial aquaculture operation that meets all regulatory requirements. The report can be found  here. There have been efforts to prioritize fish and aquaculture research needs across Canada.



Email: Manitoba Agriculture