Open Seminar on Land-based Aquaculture

Hear From the Guru of Closed Containment Salmon Farming

For immediate release                              
October 5, 2012

St. Andrews, NB Ö. The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) invites media and the public to a presentation by Dr. Steven Summerfelt on salmon farming in land-based, closed-containment facilities to take place at ASFís Interpretive Center on October 12, from 11:00 to noon.  As Director of Aquaculture Systems Research at The Conservation Fundís Freshwater Institute in Shepherdstown WV, Dr. Summerfelt is leading the way in transitioning from growing salmon in open net pen cages in the ocean to operations that completely separate farmed salmon from the ocean environment and wild fish.  
This open session will follow an intensive two-day workshop which was filled to capacity with representatives of the aquaculture industry, government, First Nations, academia, and conservation organizations from Canada, the United States, Norway, France, and the United Kingdom. The workshop, sponsored by ASF, provides opportunities to exchange research knowledge, and share technical expertise and hear from farmers already engaged in growing fish in closed containment facilities, experts in certification programs for fish grown in an environmentally-sustainable manner, and government regulators.

 Around the world, farmers are recognizing that there is a lucrative market in supplying chefs and consumers who are increasingly demanding fish that have been produced from environmentally sustainable sources.

The farmed salmon produced through ASF research support at The Conservation Fundís Freshwater Institute has been served with rave reviews at special events in New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and numerous other places in Atlantic Canada, including a recent gathering of chefs near Wolfville, NS.  The product was grilled and served to members of the 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 in taste, texture and quality.  

In the Freshwater Institute system, there is no sea lice nor obligate fish pathogens, eliminating the necessity of harsh chemical treatments, antibiotics and vaccines.  Recirculation technologies continuously filter and recycle water.  As much as 99.8% of the water flowing through closed-containment systems is cleaned and returned to the fish tanks and more than 99% of fish waste solids and phosphorous are captured during the recycling process.

ASF and The Conservation Fundís Freshwater Institute have a three-year plan to develop, evaluate, and refine innovative land-based closed-containment technology and will continue to transfer technical expertise, information and knowledge to industry, government, academia, First Nations, and interested entrepreneurs.


From its campus in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the Freshwater Institute combines applied research, engineering, and economic development skills to show the critical role fresh water resources play in the achievement of economic and environmental goals. It works with government, industry, non-profits and individuals to shape sustainable, environmentally responsible solutions to water resource management.  Freshwater's staff consistently receives recognition for academic productivity, professional leadership and consulting creativity.  The Freshwater Institute is an internationally recognized program of The Conservation Fund.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well-being and survival depend.  ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England).  The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.

ASF Contact:  Muriel Ferguson, Communications 506 529-1033 or 506 529-4581