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Aquaculture is a fast-growing business and represents according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), approx. 50 % of the global fish production that is used for food. It is expected that aquaculture shall continue growing in the future and increase its share of the total global fish production. 

There are according to FAO approx. 580 aquatic species, which are currently farmed all over the world. Atlantic salmon probably has the highest level of industrialization of all farmed aquatic species. Salmon farming has been quite profitable over the past few years and there are several large players, some of which are listed companies, multinational companies or both. In addition, there is an increasing focus on the environmental consequences of aquaculture. 

Ordinary taxation – Corporate Income Tax rates

Income from aquaculture business is generally subject to ordinary Corporate Income Tax (CIT) at varying rates which ranges from 12.5 % (China and Ireland) to up to 31 % (Canada).

The average CIT rate for the countries presented in this report is approx. 21.8 % - 22.7 %. Please see overview of CIT rates and also relevant country sections in this report for further details. 

Special taxes and levies for the aquaculture industry and tax incentives

The increased profitability in the salmon farming industry has drawn the attention of the authorities and in some countries such as the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway special taxes and excise duties for aquaculture companies have been implemented or are about to be implemented.

On the other hand, there are countries such as, e.g. China that have implemented tax incentives for the aquaculture industry. In China aquaculture companies are subject to corporate income tax on 50% of their taxable income. That results in 50% tax reduction provided that the scope of the business is marine and inland aquaculture. In Russia organizations engaged in cultivation of fish and other aquatic biological resources can apply the 0% tax rate provided that certain conditions are met.

Continuous improvements of the report

This report intends to present a brief country overview of taxation of aquaculture. The first version of this report, which was published in 2019, focused on a few selected countries, representing the largest salmon farming producing countries in the world. In addition, the report included a few countries that had potential to become large future salmon producers, e.g. through investment in landbased aquaculture. Based on input received three additional countries were included in the updated report for 2020: Greece, Japan and Spain. In this updated report for 2021 one additional country has been included: Russia.

We aim at continuously improving the report, including also to expand the report to include additional countries in future editions. Thus, we welcome any feedback that can contribute to fulfill this goal.