So how do we farm salmon in the future?
New study will look at the impact of land-based and ocean-based closed-containment salmon farms in British Columbia, as well as offshore aquaculture production systems.
A new study to provide viable technology options for salmon farming in British Columbia will play a significant role in the evolution of the industry going forward, Jonathan Wilkinson Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans said today.
The study on the State of Salmon Aquaculture Technology in partnership with the Province of British Columbia and Sustainable Development Technologies Canada (SDTC) will be conducted by Gardner-Pinfold Consulting Inc. which will work with an appointed Advisory Committee.
The Advisory Committee, which will provide overall guidance for the work, includes representatives from the B.C. First Nations Fisheries Council, Tides Canada, the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association, SDTC, the Province of BC and DFO.
The purpose of the study is to provide viable technology options for salmon farming in British Columbia, with a particular focus on technologies that reduce interactions between aquaculture and the environment, and any potential impacts on wild salmon.
Areas of study will include land-based and ocean-based closed-containment, as well as offshore aquaculture production systems.
“British Columbians and all Canadians want us to ensure the environmental sustainability of aquaculture operations while concurrently taking full advantage of the economic opportunity that is available,” said Wilkinson.
“This technology study will identify the newest global developments in aquaculture technologies, which can potentially enable improved environmental and economic performance.”
It is expected that the study will include:
- A brief overview and economic analysis of existing and emerging technologies, including their state of commercialization;
- An analysis of the environmental impacts of these technologies,
- An analysis of how sensor technologies and data could further address potential environmental impacts;
- An analysis of the social implications, including job creation and impacts on coastal/rural communities;
- A financial assessment of commercially available technologies, including an analysis of the main factors influencing their financial performance;
- An analysis of trade-offs between environmental, economic and social impacts of the technologies reviewed; and,
- Recommendations to address potential obstacles to adoption of each of the technologies reviewed.
“Sustainable aquaculture operations support food security and jobs in coastal communities and finding the right technology to do that will help the sector and employment opportunities in it grow,” said B.C. Minister of Agriculture, Lana Popham.
“This study is part of the B.C. government’s ongoing commitment to protect wild salmon, and develop sustainable aquaculture operations that have the support of industry, indigenous and local governments on the coast, and British Columbians all over the province. We’ve had success working together, and we’re committed to working for more.”
Results from the study are expected to be released to the public during the summer of 2019.
B.C.’s salmon farmers raise almost three-quarters of the salmon harvested in the province each year on about 0.05 per cent of the coast. Farm-raised salmon is B.C.’s highest valued seafood product, the province’s top agricultural export, and generates over $1.5-billion towards the B.C. economy, resulting in over 6,600 jobs.
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