03/09/2014 10:39 EDT | Updated 05/09/2014 05:59 EDT

Newfoundland and Labrador seafood industry grows, aquaculture sees record year

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The Newfoundland and Labrador government says the province's seafood industry grew eight per cent last year to $1.1 billion.

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department says the increase was helped by a record year for the aquaculture industry, which grew to $197 million in 2013 — a 74 per cent increase from 2012.

Landings in the commercial fishery increased nearly five per cent, with a production value of about $900 million.

The landed value of seal products was $2.7 million compared to $1.5 million in 2012.

The department says the industry employs about 18,000 people across the province and its seafood is exported to more than 40 countries.