Recent Blogs hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 PANEL DISCUSSION - Three Questions on the Future of Land-based Aquaculture <p class="plain"><font style="" class="heading1"><b>PANEL DISCUSSION</b></font><br><br>At the end of the afternoon, a panel made up of presenters was brought to the front, and asked to address THREE questions in succession regarding the future of land-based closed-containment aquaculture.<br><br><font style="" class="heading2">What is holding fish production in RAS back?</font><br><br><b>Eric Hobson:</b> The model is just developing. Need to attract billions of dollars, and to do that we need to have the spreadsheets and business models<br><br><b><img width="214" align="left" daid="15135971" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" height="223" border="0">Jeremy Lee</b>: We need to have a success story. That will make a great difference.<br><br><b>Tom Losordo:</b> Need to have right sizing. We need success stories. Once we have the success stories, the next thing will be the trained personnel. People need to know a lot of different subjects<br><br><b>Justin Henry:</b> Nothing is holding it back. Recirculating systems are growing fast in many other species.<br><br><b>Norman McCowan:</b> Our problem was a lot of people selling bad equipment.<br><br><font style="" class="heading2">Where should we put our resources?</font><br><br><b>Steve Summerfelt:</b> What has changed is the support of Tides Canada and Atlantic Salmon Federation. We need resources to continue research<br><br><b>Tom Losordo:</b> We need to educate the finance people. <br><br><b>Jeremy Lee:</b> We need to be able to convince finance people. We also need to convince government. For agriculture you can get assistance for all sorts of research. For us, we presently need that.<br><br><b><img width="197" align="left" daid="15135972" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" height="193" border="0">Eric Hobson:</b> We need to become virtually integrated, with all the different pieces of the chain coming to the table. Ever skill set already exists, but we need to make sure we develop all of them simultaneously.<br><br><b>Rob Johnson:</b> In Europe there was a lot of research that was being put right back into the industry right away.<br><br><b>Justin Henry:</b> Marketing needs to pull more individuals together. In Denmark most production is in RAS. As to the Canadian government, we are still at the point they are getting in our way.<br><br><b>Norman McCowan:</b> RAS Aquaculture in the US needs to be given a higher priority in agricultural loans.<br><br><b>Eric Hobson:</b> We need to continue to share, to come together, and to minimize the number of failures. We are also thinking of ways to develop a more formal organization.<br><br><font style="" class="heading2">Is there an optimal RAS scale?</font><br><br><b>Tom Losordo</b>: I know there is a lot of money out there. But I know there are not many that want a 1,000 tonne system. I can see that we can develop 100 tonne systems that involve plants<br><br><b>Jeremy Lee: </b>There are two ends that work – 100 tonnes when you do things small and yourself, and then there is 1,000 tonnes, where you have accountants and all the others. A thousand tonne farm is actually 10 farms of 100 tonnes. <br><br><b>Eric Hobson:</b> I don’t think there is an optimal market. There could be a range of possibilities.<br><br><b>Norman McCowan:</b> We need to add the value-added market. We need to see that discharges are closed.<br><br><b>Justin Henry:</b> If your tanks get too big, you cannot handle the fish. This matter of scale is important. <br><br><b>Rob Johnson:</b> Referred to aquaculture in the 1980s, where an executive said there was no business model for a company over 5,000 tonnes. <br><br><b>Steve Summerfelt:</b> With a small family, it is difficult to work with just fish. Add on plants. I am hoping that denitrifcation systems will be well engineered and big enough for large, agri-businesses.</p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain"><i>Audience involvement was considerable during the panel discussion.</i></p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain"><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-05-01T04:32:55-07:00 PANEL DISCUSSION - Three Questions on the Future of Land-based Aquaculture Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standards <p class="plain">Certified organically grown salmon will capture prices double those of regular marine net-pen Atlantic salmon. With this in mind Justin Henry went through the Canadian standards, and also noted there was yet no U.S. standard.<br><br><b>Justin Henry – Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard</b><br><br>From 1996 there were discussions, and by 2002 there was a standard on the Pacific coast. Between 2004 to 2008 there was discussion of BC standard, but that was not achieving success.<br><br>By April 2012 a Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard was released.<br><br>This standard is hoped to eventually match the standard of Aquaculture EU. Presently the US does not have a standard for Organic Aquaculture.<br><br>The standard provides protection for the environment, and includes seaweed, marine plants, and aquaculture animals. GMO materials are prohibited except vaccines, as wwell as synthetic pesticides.<br><br>There must be a detailed management description of all operations.<br><br>Animal aquaculture covers water quality and environment, reproduction, feed and feeding, and health, among other criteria.<br><br>There is also a permitted substance list as part of the standard.<br><br>Can salmon be grown in RAS systems? The answer is yes, in Canada. The EU standard does not allow recirculating water systems, however.<br><br>Land-based closed-containment salmon can meet the many detailed criteria as Justin Henry went through in detail.<br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-05-01T04:23:54-07:00 Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standards The state of certification of seafood in Canada <font style="" class="plain"> </font><p style="" class="plain">Rob Johnson</p><font style="" class="plain"> </font><p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">Rob Johnson described Seafood Solutions which uses the Seafood Watch Criteria for Aquaculture. He noted that most of the large food distributors have added some form of Sustainability requirement.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">He then described the 10 criteria used by Seawatch, the eco-certification benchmarking project.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">All farmed salmon certification standards currently benchmark to a “Red” Avoid status.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">Aquaculture Stewardship Council is a standard that has been introduced in North America, and is the highest standard for marine aquaculture. However, they don’t totally address the impact on wild salmon</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">Another is GAA BAP, which Cooke Aquaculture meets.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">Seafood WATCH has developed a External Assessment Model – a system which can be costly, but there may be options to partner, perhaps a distributor.</p> <br> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-05-01T04:20:02-07:00 The state of certification of seafood in Canada Marketing Sustainable Salmon - Land-based <p class="plain"><b>Guy Dean</b><br><br><img width="250" align="left" daid="15134498" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" border="0">Albion is the largest seafood distributor in Western Canada, with head office in Richmond, BC, with three other distribution centres spread across Western Canada.<br><br>The company was an early pioneer  in offering sustainable options – both wild and farmed. It is aligned with various eNGO organizations.<br><br>“Taste and quality is first with people buying seafood. After that it is health and price, but after that there are a host of other factors,” said Guy Dean.<br><br>“Making a greener environment at the seafood counter has become important,” he added.<br><br>The word “Sustainability” is overused. People associate the word with a host of characteristics that may or may not be related to the seasfood.<br><br>“When we started marketing Kuterra, we had the word local came up related to sustainability from a focus group. However they could not agree on what local meant.<br><br>By 2012 it became clear that distributors of seafood needed to develop a sustainability position.<br><br>“We delisted eight different species groups due to poor sustainability practices,” he said, “but now continuous improvement is importance.”<br><br>Part of this is Aquaculture Improvement Project or AIP (pronounced ape). The need for continuous improvement has brought a much greater level of engagement between suppliers and distributors.<br><br>Sustainability Statements have been made by most Canadian and the top US food rsetailers.<br><br>Now 20% of our products are sustainable under the Ocean Wise program, but this makes up 50% of our sales.<br><br>There is a need to market sustainable seafood at all levels from mass market to high end.<br><br>The Market includes a demand for about 102 M. lb of sustainable salmon demand. There is perhaps a 15% to 30% increase in the price related to the land-based closed-containment system.<br><br>Because of the better control of the product we can offer premium pricing, as many chefs want to be assured of the price.<br><br><b>Branding</b><br><br>Branding is more than a name. It is who your are as a company, including the s<img width="250" align="left" daid="15134499" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" border="0">ymbol. <br><br>“To be really successful you need to have achieved branding franchises.<br><br>For Kuterra the design was entirely related to being land raised. Plus the colours were those associated with Pacific Coast First Nations.<br></p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain"><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-30T11:42:32-07:00 Marketing Sustainable Salmon - Land-based Jeremy Lee and the Story of Sustainable Blue <p class="plain"><b>Jeremy Lee and Sustainable Blue</b><br><br><img width="250" align="left" daid="15133901" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" border="0">Jeremy Lee has developed in Nova Scotia an exciting land-based closed-containment business, the first in Atlantic Canada. However, in Spring 2014 disaster struck.<br><br>“I should like to go through some of the circumstances related to the disaster we had in March” said Jeremy Lee to the audience at ASF's Wild Salmon Nature Centre.<br><br>At about 2:30 AM, an electrical failure occurred, and as a result, about 12,000 nearly market-ready Atlantic salmon died. He continued with a description of the system and the disaster.<br><br>The PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) controls what happens in the plant, and also provides the alarms. The utility power failed with the 630 amp breaker tripped, and as a result the PLC failed. The generator started up, but without the PLC there were no alarms and no control. As a result the tanks were mostly pumped out by 5:30 AM.<br><br>There was a design issue, as the alarms should not be part of the PLC. Over the next week we studied the system, and could find no reason for the utility power. <br><br>“We invited a third party to come in and examine the situation.” <br><br>“I received the report three days ago, and they think they were turned off.”<br><br>There was no chance of a surge, and no chance of a ground fault.<br><br>Before we lost the fish, they were at a density of about 96 kg/m3.<br><br>The fish were growing better than expected. Early on there was a modest mortality as smolt, and then there was a very modest mortality rate due to random small problems.<br><br>Hatchery:<br><br>“We have been focusing this year on building a hatchery,” said Jeremy Lee, “We are using Icelandic eggs because they have good disease history, and can be supplied year round.”<br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-30T10:30:59-07:00 Jeremy Lee and the Story of Sustainable Blue Namgis Kuterra Project <font style="" class="plain"><b>Eric Hobson </b><br><br>Eric Hobson reviewed the Namgis Kuterra project, that sent its first salmon to market beginning ten days ago.<br><br>The facility has approximately ¾ acre under roof.<br><br>The smolts they received had a small fungus problem, and as a result they drilled a saltwater well, and solved the problem with a mixture of salt and fresh water. <br><br>“We built the Sherman tank of systems, so we could concentrate on growing the fish,” he said. This included systems from gas exchange to feeding and lighting. <br><br>We ground water and a heat exchange system for heating.<br><br>“We put the first cohort in at 50  kg/m3, the second at 75 kg/m3 and the third at 90 kg/m3. Depuration is 12 days, with harvest biweekly.”<br><br>Smolts come in at 85 to 100gm. The target size is 5 kg. <br><br>The RAS equipment was about $6M, and the entire capital cost was about $9.1 M. <br><br>“We needed to re-engineer as we went, to get costs down. The quarantine facility was about $1.5 M, a high cost. The total operating cost to start of first harvest is about $1.6M. Thus the total cost to start of first harvest is about $11 M.<br><br>The total operating cost is about $4.77/kg<br><br>“If we add other units to make it fully commercial, the cost per module would drop to about $6 M per unit, with a total capital cost of $32.7 M.<br><br>In financial projections, it will make about $780K in 2014, and about $1M in the next two years. A second module would give a return of about $1.4 M per year.<br><br><b>On Branding and Marketing:</b><br><br>“Branding done well we make a bring difference to the cost,” said Steve Hobson.<br><br>It has optimal growing conditions, protects the wild stocks, controls the waste and tastes good.<br><br>“We have done a lot, and Albion has helped, with the marketing. Albion takes the fish across to Richmond, BC with about 70% going to fillets. The relationship with them has been first class, and their relationship with Safeway has also paid off.”<br><br><b>Challenges for the Future:</b></font><br><img width="250" align="right" daid="15133713" src='//' style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px;float: right" height="263" border="0"><font style="" class="plain"><br>Smolt supply, mortality of the commissioning cohort due to mechanical problems. There were problems with pumps initially, even though they were new. <br></font><br><font style="" class="plain">“We need to lower the capital and production costs as well.”<br><br>“In my opinion this is the future of aquaculture. Even though DFO has decided to back the marine net-pen industry.”<br><br>“This has the look of a successful industry. The Fraser</font><font style="" class="plain"> Valley is a perfect location to create a large industry, with access to all the export markets. And many locations here as well.<br><br></font><p class="plain"><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-30T09:13:39-07:00 Namgis Kuterra Project A New Family-owned Land-based facility about to have market sized fish <font style="" class="plain"> </font><p style="" class="plain"><b>Steve Atkinson - Little Cedar Falls</b></p><font style="" class="plain"> </font><p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain"><img width="250" align="left" daid="15133711" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" border="0">He and his family built a land-based closed-containment farm in Nanaimo.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">“We’re excited, because we are about a month away from harvest,” said Steve. </p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">“I am at a stage in life where what I do should be excited. Our family invested in making this farm come to life. It’s a choice we made because we believe in good business,” said Steve.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">The farm is 100 MT in size, 100% hormone and antibiotic free. They have used a fabric building. He discussed some of the troubles over the first year.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">“We initially went cheap on the monitoring control equipment, and that was a mistake,” he said. “There was a problem with the oxygen generator, but now the company has resolved to always have all parts in the warehouse. Now I only need one bottle of oxygen as backup.”</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">He went on to other issues, including water quality, for which an ozone generator will be installed. Also a backup generator.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">“One of the benefits is that we are only 10 minutes away from the engineers,” he added, “so they have been able to solve problems.”</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">The fish are growing to the design curves. Electrical costs have been coming in at about half expectations. </p> <br> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-30T09:11:56-07:00 A New Family-owned Land-based facility about to have market sized fish Assessing Impacts <p class="plain"><b>Peter Tyedmers</b><br><br>Advancing sustainability requires attention to multiple dimensions. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is well suited to informing understanding of contributions to broad scale problems and tradeoffs that result from material and energy inputs along supply chains. <br><br>LCA is not well suited to address local-scale and socio-economic impacts.<br><br>“Aquaculture systems have real impacts, and people are concerned about the disease, about the source of feeds,” said Peter Tyedmers of Dalhousie University.<br><br>LCA can help us understand things such as greenhouse gas emissions, aquatic toxicity, eutrophication, and other waste streams.<br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-30T09:03:11-07:00 Assessing Impacts How Much Does Land-based Cost? <p class="plain">How expensive are land-based systems? The presentations below look at different aspects of this question. Brian Vinci worked at a comparison of a land-based system vs. marine systems. Gary Robinson looked at the actual costs of building the Namgis Kuterra system in northern Vancouver Island.<br><br><b>Brian Vinci</b><br><br><br>For many years Brian Vinci has developed recirculating land-based systems with the Freshwater Institute. When he came to look at the economics of land-based systems, he described in detail both a land-based system, and a marine net-pen system producing the same amount of salmon.<br><br>One of the many differences was that near harvest, the density in the land-based model was 80 kg/m3 while for the marine system it is 25 kg/m3. Another was that the land-based was harvested every week of the year while the net-pen was harvested seasonally.<br><br>Putting all the inputs together the total per kg was $3.98 US for the land-based and for the net-pen was $4.24 US per kg.<br><br>As to a quick estimate of profitability, the total production cost for the land-based was $13.13 M US vs $13.99 M for the net-pen<br><br>Earnings before interest and taxes for the land-based system was $11.6 M US vs earnings before interest and taxes for the net-pen was $5.47 M US<br><br>The cash flow for the land-based system requires a larger investment before production, in this model in the order of $35 M<br><br>With the land-based salmon selling at a premium of about 15% the final benefits came out slightly better for the land based, vs open net-pen system.<br><br>He analyzed the system in many other ways, including carbon footprint, including both production and transportation factors.<br><br>If the land-based system is in an area with largely hydro power, it has a lower footprint than net-pen systems.</p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain"><img width="400" daid="15133234" src='//' border="0"><br><br><br><b>Gary Robinson</b><br><br>With Namgis Kuterra project now in operation, Gary Robinson went through the production costs for this pioneering commercial land-based system. He noted the project was somewhat small for a commercial facility, that it was far from larger centres, being on northern Vancouver Island, that smolts needed to be purchased from a distance away, and that effluent treatment was absolutely necessary.<br><br>Heating and cooling was through heat pumps, and the building was a pre-fab steel facility. There was no single component that could be modified to make a big difference cost.<br><br>The whole development for the Namgis Kuterra facility came in at $19 kg production.</p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain">"In the end, scale is a major fact," said Davidson. "Perhaps 1,500+ metric tonnes is the best size."<br></p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain"><img width="400" daid="15133235" src='//' border="0"><br><br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-30T07:02:59-07:00 How Much Does Land-based Cost? The Freshwater Institute's Cutting Edge in these systems <p class="plain"><b>Steve Summerfelt and an overview of the Freshwater Institute’s Trials</b><br><br>The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute is at the cutting edge of research into land-based closed-containment systems. Steve Summerfelt, director of the Freshwater Institute went through the results of their large number of growout studies.<br><br>He noted their fish could be produced six months faster than net-pen fish. He noted that the high density typical of land-based systems is not an issue, but instead something talked about by others. The fish maintain their health, the fins look excellent, and with the continual current they maintain their fitness.<br><br>He also noted the increased focus on seeing them going for human consumption. Some went to food banks, others to Albion Seafood and others to J. J.Macdonald.<br><br>The Freshwater Institute has found that survival is high.  For the St. John River tria, mortality was 11.4%, with 2% jumping out. Using Cascade strain the mortality was 7% for one trial and 8.2% for another trail.<br><br>In all these trials there were no major fish health events. There was a small amount of fungus. Thus it was possible to raise the fish with no vaccination, no antibiotics, no formalin. Some hydrogen peroxide was used with the eggs.<br><br>With all this, there wee no escapees at any life stage. <br><br>Before harvesting, he noted they purged for off-flavour. He noted that most recently the fish have been sold by Wegman’s and others in the Chesapeake Bay area, and was selling out at $13 per pound.<br><br><b>John Davidson</b><br><br><img width="250" align="left" daid="15133123" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" border="0">John Davidson is also on the staff of the Freshwater Institute, and looked at studies on depurating fish to be certain there are no off-flavours. <br><br>“Depuration is critical for RAS-produced fish, and they need to be moved into a new system for that period,” he said.<br><br>So too is keeping everything sterile. Before fish are added to the depuration tanks, the equipment is sterilized with hydron peroxide, an absolutely critical part of the process. Meanwhile water aeration media should not be used with depuration systems, as they are difficult to clean, and it tends to cause incomplete disinfetion.<br><br>However, he notes that every farm is different, and the time required for depuration will vary. <br><br>Through the various presentations, those in the audience were entirely engaged.<br><br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-30T05:39:03-07:00 The Freshwater Institute's Cutting Edge in these systems What was Learned from Namgis - and DFO's views of aquaculture <i><img width="250" align="right" daid="15133071" src='//' style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px;float: right" border="0">At right: Kuterra salmon being prepared by Master Chef Chris Aerni of the Rossmount Inn Tuesday evening.</i><br><br><p class="plain"><b>Catherine Emerick</b><br><br>Catherine Emerick of Tides Canada has been closely involved with the planning and development of the Namgis Kuterra Project in northern Vancouver Island.<br><br>Catherine Emerick noted that with the Kuterra Project in northern Vancouver Island we have a greater understanding of the costs and requirements of a production facility. It also has been found that an experienced person in charge is vital.<br><br>In the next year we will better understand fish performance, production planning and tank capacity utilization. Also we will better understand key operating costs including feed, energy and labour.<br><br>There will be opportunities to refine design for operational benefits.<br><br>Detailed performance metrics for the first salmon and status report of the second and third groups will be reported by Tides Canada in May 2014.<br><br>Looking forward, Kuterra has sown that land-based closed-containment systems provide an opportunity to diversify Canadian aquaculture. As to what is needed, there need to be incentives, market diversification and there needs to be a made in Canada regulatory environment.<br><br>Also, investors and lenders need to be educated, and there needs to be an investment pool developed.<br><br><b>Cindy Webster</b><br><br>Cindy Webster of DFO provided an overview of DFO’s views on closed-containment aquaculture, beginning with its history, including studies looking at the economics of closed containment vs. open net-pen aquaculture.<br><br>DFO’s position is that closed-containment needs to solve a set of problems to become economically viable. DFO’s policy towards land-based aquaculture is neutral, offering opportunites for support while supporting marine aquaculture.<br><br>She described the Sustainable Aquaculture Program of $54 M, of which $27 M is directed to further scientific knowledge through research, operational analysis and other initiatives.<br><br>Cindy Webster gave an overview of the March 2013 recommendations of the House Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.  One of the recommendations was to work with groups developing closed-containment projects. However, one of the other recommendations was not to develop a fund devoted to closed-containment aquaculture.<br><br>The final recommendation was to develop a Canadian centre of excellence for aquaculture development. <br><br>Thus, DFO is providing limited support for closed-containment.<br><br>When asked by John Bagnall about the large compensation amounts going out to marine aquaculture operations, she noted those were coming from CFIA.<br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-30T04:53:35-07:00 What was Learned from Namgis - and DFO's views of aquaculture What are the gaps in Fish Health and Fish Welfare? <p class="plain"><b>What are the gaps? - The Fish Welfare speakers provide a basis for discussion</b><br><br><b><img width="250" align="left" daid="15130014" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" border="0">Grace Karreman</b> - Need to understand biofilms and how they work. The driver for farmed salmon welfare will come out of consumers. As to situations, there are other crops and animal farming situations we could be looking at to better understand how we deal with situations. There may be a good potential for modeling. Perhaps we need to focus on in vitro care.<br><br><b>Myron Roth</b> – Many gaps where we are growing fish in complicated systems. What will become critical is what we consider is the ethical and appropriate way to grow fish, and this bar will change. We can manage the health. But now there is the idea of density, photoperiod, for example.  We need to have some informed decisions made. As to policy, the growers, the consumers, the scientists will all have their views. Talk to as many people as possible – that is the way to good policy.<br><br>There will be a lot of new knowledge about diseases, as genetics gets more sophisticated.<br><br><b>Larry Hammell</b> – We are going to have problems develop, and we are going to need to develop better understanding of both the systems and the fish. Cleaning between generations may become vitally important. On policy, in early stages it will take time for it to develop to keep pace with the benefits.<br><br><b>Grete Beaverfjord</b> – Limiting factors is how the fish interact with the land-based system. As to smolt, we know a lot, but we need to understand “how hard can we push the fish”, so need a more holistic approach.  Need to better understand smolts – treat them more like babies. If you go by public opinion, they want all fish farming on land, and on the other side they want all fish produced naturally. Need to come to terms with this.<br><br><b>Tilmann Benfey</b> – How do we know about the welfare of the animals. We have a gap on knowing things like real stocking density in land-based system. We need to develop better systems for disease management. It is clear from the discussion there is a need for disease management, but it is different from ocean-based aquaculture. There is a complete disconnect among Canadians about how aquaculture works. People don’t know that we already have a humane system for how to kill the fish, for example.<br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-29T12:51:00-07:00 What are the gaps in Fish Health and Fish Welfare? Putting Aquaculture and Aquaponics Together <p class="plain"><b>Huy Tran and Thomas Losordo</b><br><br>Can Recirculating systems be used for other purposes?<br><br>The short answer is certainly yes. In the long term, the wastes from salmon aquaculture facilities need to be utilized to make maximum economic benefit from the operation.<br><br>Huy Tran described an aquaponics operation in Florida using effluent discharges.<br><br>Thomas Losordo described a spectacular new project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia focused on both aquaculture and aquaponics, growing saltwater and freshwater plants and animals – all at the same time.<br><br>“Upstream” is the aquaculture facility, and then waste from this part of the facility is used to support the plant-based species being grown.<br><br>The facilities will be built in the US and shipped to Jeddah. <br><br>“This is the most complicated system we have built,” said Thomas Losordo, “Mostly because it requires both freshwater and saltwater components.”<br><br>As to the saltwater species, there are several that can have vegetables that include tomatoes grafted on to the plants.<br><br>At the very end, for the plants, they are dewatered to less than 40% H2O, and then they are composted.<br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-29T12:47:45-07:00 Putting Aquaculture and Aquaponics Together Alternative Feeds for Aquaculture Fish <img width="400" daid="15129860" src='//' border="0"><p class="plain"><i>During breaks, participants had an opportunity to share questions and ideas.</i><br><br>Wendy Sealey is a fish feed nutritionist who is based in Bozeman, MT. This has a very sophisticated laboratory for measuring components.<br><br>She looks at compositional analysis , along with various factors such as palatability, growth rate, health, etc.<br><br>There is a database of nutrient digestibility of traditional and novel feed ingredients for tout and hybrid striped bass. Analysis looks beyond just the existing proteins, but the available proteins, for example.<br><br>What is most interesting is that they are looking in great depth at the impacts of different ingredients. They are looking at various diet components, from a fishmeal-based diet through using animal, plant and experimental plant products.<br><br>It is important not only to understand the components but also the needs of the fish. They looked at the ideal amino acid balance of the fish muscle for example. This resulted for rainbow trout in a high lysine diet.<br><br>What they discovered was that certain plant diets will work, if they are supplemented by lysine. <br><br>“We are pretty happy with the results we are seeing,” she said.<br><br>They found they could get to a place where they were providing all the raw and digestible proteins and other ingredients necessary.<br><br>The result:<br><br>Fishmeal protein is not necessary, at least I rainbow trout, but nutritional value of alternative ingredients is required. The researchers looked at the effects of alternative ingredients on fish performance, fish health and product quality be determined.<br><br>One point was that plant-based alternatives to fishmeal oil were available to provide the same amount of Omega 3. The component that needed to be added was based on an algae species, but the difficulty is that presently it is more expensive than the alternatives.<br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-29T11:51:52-07:00 Alternative Feeds for Aquaculture Fish Optimizing Conditions in a Recirculating Tank <p class="plain">Early afternoon presentations focused on particular factors affecting the growth of salmon in recirculating systems. Wendy Vandersteen is from the University of British Columbia, Larry Hammell from the Atlantic Veterinary College (UPEI), and Chris Good from the Freshwater Institute in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. <br><br><b>Wendy Vandersteen, UBC InSEAS Facility –</b><br><br>Defining optimal conditions for rearing Atlantic salmon in recirculating systems.<br><br>By using RAS to grow salmon, we have the opportunity to rear fish under conditions that maximize growth. For example, if temperature is considered, there will be a curve, where low temperatures are poorer for growth, and then an optimal point is reached, after which growth is poorer at high temperatures.<br><br>When many factors are considered, combinations of factors will affect that curve. <br><br>“We are working on a project involving salinity, temperature and also the combination of photoperiod and salinity,” said Vandersteen. “Out of this we will be assessing optimal conditions, and ultimately this will include production efficiencies and related factors.”<br><br>“Maintaining salt balance can account for 10-50% of the resting metabolic rate,” she added.<br><br>We can run seven different salinities as part of the experiment. From our work at InSEAS facility. <br><br>One of the problems is just the handling related to monitoring the experiments. As a result we have an automatic biomass estimator. <br><br>Another of the factors was the effect of tank colour, something generally ignored within the aquaculture industry. Tank colour may lead to greater aggressive damage, with darker colours appearing to reduce aggression.<br><br>The trials considered lining the tank with coloured coverings – blue, white, gray and black. The fish showed a preference for black and dark grey covering.<br><br>The overall goal is to improve the economic performance of operations.<br><br><b>LARRY HAMMELL</b><br><br><img width="250" align="left" daid="15129832" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" border="0">“Vet students in school now will still be practice in 2054, and how will veterinarians be occupied then,” he said. “More attention will b required to prevent production diseases as the industry develops.” <br><br>The cost of monitoring sea lice is large, but there are no figures. Also, the cost of using well boats is large.<br><br>Biosecurity is important in reducing such costs. Most important is to maintain barriers to surrounding areas of positive and unknown status areas. Compartmentalization is vital.<br><br>We have come across many situations where fish leave a certified facility, and the fish later come down with a disease. A grower needs to be vigilant and to do everything to keep it from getting in.<br><br>Closed containment changes infectious disease dynamics, reducing the probability of introduction. But it is most influenced by false negative assessment of incoming livestock.<br><br><b>CHRIS GOOD</b><b>, Freshwater Institute</b><br><br>The Freshwater Institute has been at the forefront of raising Atlantic salmon in freshwater. We have a number of cohorts that we have grown to market size in about 18 to 20 months<br><br>Now we have the possibility of growing stock in six identical systems.<br><br>We have had the situation of precocious maturation of both males and females, and have been attempting to study factors surrounding it.<br><br>In one experiment we looked at low water exchange vs high water exchange, with the dissolved oxygen and other factors the same. <br><br>We came to ask whether hormones were accumulating, whether they were being changed or accumulated in the RAS, etc. The targets were testosterone, 11-KT, estradiol, progesterone and cortisol.<br><br>No differences in most Testosterone was the only measured hormone that accumulated with lower flow. 11-KT was the only one with lower levels.<br><br>Was there an effect of photoperiod.  Tried an 18 hour light, and 6 hours dark photoperiod.  Then sampled the fish. At 12 months no difference, but at 18h:6h there was a higher percentage of fish mature. At 19 mo. And 24 mo. There was a much higher 11-K level.<br><br><br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-29T10:34:56-07:00 Optimizing Conditions in a Recirculating Tank The BC Experience with Fish Welfare <img width="400" align="" daid="15129229" src='//' height="267" border="0"><p class="plain">BC is at the forefront of developing land-based aquaculture, and the framework for fish welfare is part of this. Myron Roth looks at it from a government perspective. The second speaker, Tyler Stitt, is directly involved with the NAMGIS facility and the Kuterra salmon now in the public market.<br><br><b>Myron Roth</b><br><br>In BC Atlantic salmon constitutes 69% of aquaculture production, and has a wholesale value of $386M.  This is about a third of all the value of fisheries in BC. Farmed salmon has become BC’s number one export.<br><br>Atlantic salmon make up 82% of cultured fish in BC. There are about 750 sites in BC.<br><br>Land-based involves a range of technologies, with pump ashore with water treatment and recirc systems considered land-based. Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) have been developing quickly.<br><br>There are several closed containment sites in BC, with different focus. From Namgis in northern Vancouver Island to Prince George, where there is a focus on aquaponics.<br><br>The public is becoming more aware of animal welfare, and in BC there are some of the toughest animal welfare laws – in part due to the sled dog situation that resulted in major changes to animal welfare laws in BC.<br><br>Several levels of federal legislation – Criminal Code, Health of Animals Act, meat inspection act, and the Fisheries Act.  <br><br>Provincially, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Veterinarian’s Act, Animal Disease Control Act and Wildlife Act. <br><br>Most of these laws deal with terrestrial animals. In addition, aquaculture and fisheries are treated separately from farming activity. <br><br>Myron Roth noted that the standards for Organic Aquaculture has the highest standard for animal welfare, especially to minimize stress. <br><br><b>Tyler Stitt</b><br><br><img width="250" align="left" daid="15129230" src='//' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" height="277" border="0">Tyler Stitt began by describing the overall facility and how the Namgis salmon “flow” through the facility.<br><br>As he points out, “disease in aquaculture facilities is a sensitive topic in BC.”<br><br>“Our smolt screening policy is focused on not allowing pathogens into the system. Thus we developed a very detailed system.”<br><br>The smolts are currently from a third party source; thus there is less control. However the health history of the fish is carefully examined. On site, screening of the smolts for a range of parasites and diseases.<br><br>Smolts are vaccinated for many things – IHN, Vibrosis, BKD, etc. They are then quarantined as part of the greater effort to enforce biosecurity for the facility. All water is from wells, and is still filtered for pathogens. A large amount of environmental monitoring is enforced. There is also independent environmental health monitoring, making sure that no pathogens are being released into the environment.<br><br>So far there have been no major issues, with a modest fungus issue only. There has been no need so far for any screening beyond the initial smolt screening.<br><br>The first cohort of smolts had a 12% fungus-related mortality, but subsequently that was reduced to 3 to 6% mortality. These fish are restricted to quarantine while they are being treated. <br><br>All water is chlorinated before entering settling ponds. <br><br>So far the fungus has been the only health issue to date. The second and third chohorts took 12 months  or less to market.<br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-29T07:44:59-07:00 The BC Experience with Fish Welfare Getting an International Conference Underway <p class="plain">Nearly 90 scientists and members of the aquaculture industry gathered in St. Andrews on Tues. for ASF’s Closed-Containment Workshop. They came from as far away as northern Vancouver Island and across the US, and from Norway and the United Kingdom, as well as the many from across Atlantic Canada and New England.</p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain"><img width="400" daid="15128964" src='//' height="184" border="0"><br><br>ASF President Bill Taylor and Steve Summerfelt of the Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute gave introductory remarks at 8:15 AM, before immediately diving into the nuts and bolts of determining fish welfare and fish health as it relates to land-based closed containment systems.<br><br>Tillman Benfey reviewed the results of the 2012 Workshop held in St. Andrews, and how the process continued with a workshop held at the University of Guelph, that focused on subjects such as paying attention to what the fish themselves can tell those raising them. There was an emphasis on aspects of Fish Welfare, including Rich Moccia looking particularly at fish welfare in closed containment systems. Larry Hammell of UPEI discussed the population-level approach to looking at fish welfare.<br><br>He discussed what came from this, looking especially at the lack of quantitative and objective welfare assessment measurements to determine when euthanasia should be practiced. There was discussion around how the problems of a small number of fish can affect the larger population.<br><br>The workshop noted that current salmon farming practices are not well understood by the general public. It was noted that the public has not decided how to view the different ways in which fish are harvested from tanks, cages or the wild. There are presently no active partnerships between aquaculture and farm-based groups on these topics.<br><br><b>GRETE BAEVERFJORD</b><br><br><img width="250" align="right" daid="15128965" src='//' style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px;float: right" height="235" border="0">Second to present was Grete Baeverford of NOFIMA, an important Norwegian research facility. Norway takes aquaculture seriously, since together with fisheries it makes up 8% of the Gross National Product.<br><br>Grete eviewed the industry. Smolt plants at one time produced 500,000 per year but now have been expanding to 5 to 15 million smolts per site per year. Development continues towards extremely high intensity of production. She noted that in sea cages the max. density allowed is 25 kg/m3. <br><br>Recirculating systems had been tried in the 1990, but with disastrous results. However new systems are being developed with far greater success. RAS system can give stable and good water quality, but management of the water requires specific knowledge. They found there was a series gap on understanding preventive and management strategies for diseases in Recirculating systems. Also the best characteristics of feed pellets.<br><br>Grete then described experiments, as well as surveys undertaken of those controlling closed-system operations.<br><br>One single conclusion emerged: It was agreed that technical failure was reported as the biggest risk to fish welfare. There is a need for duplicate security systems.<br><br>There were many other issues. Those managing the operations need to pay attention to what is actually happening in the tanks, from the reaction of the salmon to water velocity to water temperatures.<br><br>She also noted there were great gaps in understanding what the necessary conditions in recirculating systems were actually were. Parameters developed had come from flow-through systems, that might or might not pertain to these recirculating systems.<br><br>Some other points were made.<br><br>Higher levels of seawater in the system increases the cost, due to the greater difficulty of removing the CO2. Higher levels of seawater also increased mortality at certain sizes of smolt, particularly around 450g size<br><br>Exercise regimes for the salmon smolt improved the health of their hearts, but increased skin abrasions<br><br>High temperatures and low mineral levels during growth increase rate of skeletal deformities<br><br>A new project called FindIT is designed to identify causal factors for skeletal deformities. There are huge amounts of information, but it is not gathered into systems that can be utilized. Working with Belgian computer experts, they have been working on developing a system to bring the information together. Then this massive amount of data can be searched to look for root causes of particular problems.<br><br><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-29T05:51:15-07:00 Getting an International Conference Underway Check out the Closed-Containment Agenda <p class="plain">Got to the <a rel="" link="" target="_blank" href="" class="plain">page here</a> to download not only the agenda, but also the abstracts of presentations being delivered at the Closed Containment Conference being held at ASF on April 29 and 30.<br><br>Many of the first day's presentations are related to the "nuts and bolts" of keeping systems and fish healthy, while the second day focuses on updates on operations - including those already in commercial production.<br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-28T07:00:39-07:00 Check out the Closed-Containment Agenda Live Blogging During Apr. 29, 30 Land-based Aquaculture Conference <p class="plain">Land-based aquaculture has reached the commercial level. and an international conference being held at ASF's Wild Salmon Nature Centre near St. Andrews will be exploring the state of the technology and how production is developing.<br><br>Tune back on Tues. April 29 at about 9:30 for the first blogged reports to be posted. New ones will be added during breaks between presentations.<br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2014-04-25T10:18:39-07:00 Live Blogging During Apr. 29, 30 Land-based Aquaculture Conference Limedoser on the West River Sheet Harbour <font style="" class="plain"> </font><p style="" class="plain"><font style="">Edmund Halfyard explained how the West River River Sheet Harbour.</font></p><font style="" class="plain"> </font><p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain"><img width="250" align="right" daid="14340095" src='//' style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px;float: right" size="250" border="0">Was 4.3 to 5.5, and now is 5.0 to 7.5. Much of the mainstem is now within target. Have also noticed a reduction in severity of episodic minima. </p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">Looking at invertebrates, found a community shift in invertebrates following the beginning of the liming. There was also greater abundance. </p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">Electrofishing showed a significant increase in parr 10 km below the doser. The data is also showing that the smolt are increasing – up as high as 13,000 vs. 3,000 in the system.</p> <p style="" class="plain"> </p> <p style="" class="plain">Lime dosing feasible but careful planning is required. We also found that monitoring is expensive. It requires sufficient pre-treatment data. Also, liming should be considered only as part of a larger program.</p> <br> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2013-09-19T10:51:39-07:00 Limedoser on the West River Sheet Harbour