DFO study affirms viability of closed containment technology for salmon aquaculture

For Immediate Release
November 24, 2010

VANCOUVER, BC – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has released a new report that affirms the economic viability of closed containment technology for salmon aquaculture. The department also recommends building a pilot scale or demonstration system as a next step. The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) is delighted that the federal government is finally recognizing the potential of closed containment technology as a serious alternative to harmful net-cage operations.

The Feasibility Study of Closed-Containment Options for the British Columbia Aquaculture Industry recognizes that land-based recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) are likely to show positive returns and that once the technology becomes more widely adopted within the sector, capital and operating costs may continue to go down.

“This new study shows that closed containment salmon farming is economically viable, something we have said for years,” says David Lane of T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation and CAAR. “In fact, numerous companies are moving ahead with plans for closed containment in B.C., creating a potential multi-million dollar sustainable salmon farming industry, with new jobs and an economic boost for coastal communities.”

DFO’s report goes on to recommend the construction of a pilot project at commercial-scale to demonstrate the system’s technical and financial feasibility in real world conditions. CAAR has long called for government investment to spur development of the technology and is urging the federal government to allocate funds for this purpose in the 2011 federal budget.

“Our federal government must step up to the plate now to ensure that this green technology moves forward quickly so that Canada can capitalize on this enormous opportunity in sustainable aquaculture,” says Catherine Stewart of Living Oceans Society and CAAR.

CAAR is also working with Marine Harvest Canada (MHC) on their proposal for a commercial-scale pilot project. MHC is currently undergoing a site selection process on Vancouver Island, with a preference for the North Island.

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For more information please contact:

David Lane of T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation, a group member of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, 604-258-8119 davidlane@bucksuzuki.org

Catherine Stewart of Living Oceans Society, a group member of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, 604-916-6722 cstewart@livingoceans.org