Fisheries and commercial aquaculture
The fishing and aquaculture industry is of considerable importance to the Quebec economy, with an estimated GDP of $4.6 billion for 2020. It generates income and employment in communities far from major centres, particularly in the maritime regions bordering the St. Lawrence River, and provides products that are appreciated worldwide. It comprises several sub-sectors: commercial marine and freshwater fisheries, marine and freshwater aquaculture and, by extension, fish and seafood processing in maritime areas.
Summary of commercial fisheries and aquaculture in Quebec in 2019
Source: MAPAQ, 2020. Pêches et aquaculture commerciales au québec en un coup d’oeil, Portrait statistique (Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture in Quebec at a Glance: Statistical Portrait), 2020 edition, online: [https://www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/fr/Publications/CoupOeilpeche.pdf]
Aquatic ecosystems are increasingly vulnerable to climate change. These changes, which are already beginning to be observed and will intensify in the future, have impacts on the species and the quality of aquatic habitats and affect the both the fresh and salt water fishing and aquaculture industries. These impacts are in addition to the many anthropogenic pressures on aquatic ecosystems such as overfishing, coastal development and the pollution of waterways.
The impacts of climate change on fisheries are not limited to the industrial environment; it can also affect subsistence fishing practised by Indigenous peoples as well as the sport fishing practised by more than 600,000 people in Quebec.