VANCOUVER — Commercial-scale closed containment salmon farming in B.C. just took one huge step forward with the installation of a marine-based salmon farming tank in Campbell River.
Local closed containment technology leader AgriMarine Inc. has installed the first of four solid-wall floating tanks that will be used to farm Chinook and coho salmon at Middle Bay. The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) has supported AgriMarine's efforts to realize this project since its inception. CAAR celebrates the installation of this first tank as a significant milestone in the transition towards more sustainable salmon farming practices.
"This project will serve to further explore and demonstrate the viability of closed containment technology and ease the way for industry-wide transition to closed systems for salmon aquaculture," says Ruby Berry, Georgia Strait Alliance and CARR.
The project received federal funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) — a critical step in the development of this innovative system. However, the federal government must significantly increase its investment in the development of closed containment technology overall to ensure that Canada is positioned competitively within this emerging sector. CAAR is actively encouraging the Harper government to allocate funding in the upcoming federal budget to support the advancement of closed containment technology.
"BC and Canada have an enormous opportunity to be industry leaders in the development of sustainable aquaculture technologies, such as closed containment," says David Lane, T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation and CAAR. "This could stimulate an entirely new trade sector and create new long-term employment opportunities for Canadians."
The four-tank floating system, situated in the Discovery Islands, is licensed to produce 1,200 metric tonnes of salmon per year.
Closed containment fish rearing systems can eliminate or greatly reduce many of the negative environmental issues that plague outdated net-cage fish farms such as marine pollution, escapes, disease and parasite transfer to wild salmon and the need for antibiotics and chemical treatments when farming fish.
For more information please contact:
Ruby Berry, Georgia Strait Alliance, a group member of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform
David Lane, T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation, a group member of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform