Closed containment at a salmon nursery. (Photo: Marine Harvest Canada)
Land-based fish farms continue to gain popularity
Tuesday, December 04, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
Land-based fish farms have gained traction and are now recognised as productive, efficient and adaptable, according to a recent workshop in the Wilfred Carter Atlantic Salmon Interpretive Centre in New Brunswick.
The purpose of the workshop -- attended by the Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST) and Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF), plus representatives from Canada, the US and Europe involved in creating closed containment (CC) systems -- was to provide updates on the progress made in alternative forms of salmon farming and particularly land-based options.
It was agreed that new technologies will work together with existing open cage systems rather than take their place, offering the option of locating farms closer to retailers and markets. Farmers would also have more control over water quality, temperature, disease management, early maturation and delivery of daily husbandry, The Irish Times reports.
ASF and AST highlighted the extent to which CC technologies can allow for a “biological firewall” between farmed salmon and wild fish, reducing the risk of polluting and spreading disease, but how land-based systems were more reliable in this respect.
Conversely, the new prototypes may be more expensive and would have more difficult access to fresh water, plus greater electricity costs and consumer resistance.
Atlantic Sapphire is a possible market leader in developing commercially viable land-based CC systems. It is planning to develop a 2,500-ton CC facility in the US with the intent of growing production to 16,000 tonnes in the next decade.
The company is interested in using sustainable feeds and various firms in the UK, Canada, Norway, China and US are following suit.
By Natalia Real