Sector Highlight:

Seafood and Aquaculture

To tourists and locals alike, the magic of our home is defined by the fishing villages that continue to dot our rugged coastline. From lobster boils on the beach to fish and chips on our urban waterfront, seafood will always define our economy and culture.

The best seafood comes from our clean, cold waters. Period.

They say it was John Cabot’s voyage in 1497 that first exposed those on the other side of the Atlantic to the abundant fish resources off the coast of Nova Scotia. That may or may not be the case. But what is a fact is that today our seafood is in demand all over the world. And yes, we’re pretty proud of that.

Halifax is the urban center of a province that’s almost completely surrounded by the sea—so it’s no surprise that fish and seafood remain an important part of our economy. Whether sustainably caught or farmed, fish and seafood is big business in our province—and the largest seafood industry in Canada. In 2019, we exported $2.3 billion in fish and seafood products to over 80 countries, and our seafood industry includes 178 processing companies.

Aside from a cultural and economic momentum based on centuries of fishing experience, we owe our success in seafood to efficient and consistent cold chain logistics. Our ports are ice-free year-round, with immediate road, rail, and air connections; daily air service operates to Asia, Europe, and North America; and reliable supply chains support everything from harvest to processing to distribution.

More than 50 species of fish and seafood.

Nova Scotia provides year-round access to these species of premium fish and seafood: 

  • Atlantic Halibut
  • Atlantic Pollock
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Canadian Lobster
  • Coldwater Shrimp
  • Haddock
  • Herring
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Red Fish
  • Sea Cucumber
  • Sea Scallop
  • Sea Urchin
  • Silver Hake
  • Snow Crab
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna

A commitment to productive partnerships and approaches

Governments, industry associations, harvesters, processors, and supply chain service providers all share the responsibility—collaboratively—of keeping our seafood industry strong. Together, we ensure sustainably managed fisheries that keep fish stocks high, and quality even higher.


DID YOU KNOW: The bold and distinctive Nova Scotia Seafood brand—developed by the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture—promotes Nova Scotia seafood in key international markets like Asia, Europe, and the U.S.


The facts of the matter.

  • We’re Canada’s #1 seafood exporter.
  • We export seafood to nearly 80 different countries
  • About 50 species of fish and seafood are exported from Nova Scotia
  • Nova Scotia is home to nearly 180 seafood processing companies
  • There are about 140 aquaculture operators in the province
  • Shellfish dominates exported values with lobster (53%), snow crab (11%), scallop (11%), and shrimp (8%) representing 85% of export values in 2015
  • 1,100 people are employed in our aquaculture industry

Responsible, sustainable aquaculture.

Nova Scotia’s shorelines, from the cold North Atlantic to the Bay of Fundy, offer the ideal environments for farming a variety of product: Arctic Char, Atlantic Halibut, Atlantic Salmon, Striped Bass, and Trout, and seafood like the American Oyster, Bay Quahogs, scallops, clams, and mussels. And the industry is always evolving, with R&D driving growth and improvements in seed sourcing, environmental monitoring, and product processing.

Halifax is the economic engine for thriving Nova Scotia seafood companies.

Since 1976, Clearwater has grown to become one of the world’s largest vertically integrated seafood companies, dedicated to sustainable seafood excellence.

Cooke Aquaculture
a family-owned and -managed company that has operated a sustainable aquaculture business in Nova Scotia for over 30 years, with ten sea sites in the province.

Fisher King Seafood Ltd
Exporters of products like lobster, crab, and scallops produced from sustainable resources.

Louisbourg Seafoods
A family-operated seafood business, started in 1984, committed to the conservation and care of ocean species and habitat.

Contact Discover Halifax to learn more!

Ready to learn more, or to start planning your event in Halifax?  Contact our sector expert today.

Paul Bailey (he/him)
Sales Director - International
Phone: 1.902.818.1822 (Atlantic Time Zone)
Office/Mail: 1809 Barrington Street, Suite 1004, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3K8