ASF believes that to protect wild salmon, their environment and their economic value, aquaculture operations should transition from open net pens in the ocean to land based closed containment.
The principal reason is the need to reduce the negative impacts of marine netpen salmon farming on critically endangered wild Atlantic salmon populations such as those in the Bay of Fundy, along the Maine coast, and on the outer coast of Nova Scotia.
To this end, ASF entered into a partnership with the Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute of Shepherdstown, WV, beginning in 2011.
CLICK HERE for link to Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute
The operation was successful in continuously cleaning and returning to tanks 99.8 % of the water flowing through the system; and in controlling and capturing 99% of fish waste solids. No vaccines, harsh chemicals or antibiotics were used. The salmon that have been grown out were served at special events in New York, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Boston Chicago, and numerous places in Atlantic Canada; including to a national gathering of chefs near Wolfville, NS. The product was grilled and served to members of Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans Standing Committee on Closed Containment when they visited the grow-out site in West Virginia.
Chefs and the general public, who participated in taste tests, ranked the product very highly and gave it better reviews than salmon grown in open pens.
An executive summary of the research is appended below.
As the result of this success, ASF and the Freshwater Institute are continuing our partnership to research the feasibility of freshwater, closed containment operations on land over the next three years. ASF will continue to deliver aquaculture innovation workshops in Atlantic Canada to transfer technical expertise, information and knowledge; identify the best freshwater seedstock for land-based closed containment aquaculture by supporting a commercial-scale Atlantic salmon grow-out trial over a 26-month production cycle; optimize harvest techniques to provide best product quality; and conduct marketing research.
ASF Workshops on Land-based Closed Containment Salmon Farming
ASF has held two workshops on Land-based Closed Contaiment Aquaculture at the Wild Salmon Nautre Centre in St. Andrews, and the presentations of participants are available on the website. CLICK HERE
The workshops attracted participants internationally who were scientists, conservationists, technical experts and members of the salmon aquaculture industry, plus representatives of government, First Nations and NGOs from Canada, the U.S., and from five European countries.