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"Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century."

- Peter Drucker, Management Expert & Economist

2014-05-06

Land-based aquaculture deemed commercially unfeasible

Canada's biggest seafood aquaculture company Cooke Aquaculture claimed many obstacles will have to be overcome before salmon can be raised on land, since the firm does not deem it commercially viable.

This statement was in the framework of the conference at the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) near St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, which took place on 29-30 April, CBC News reported.

At the conference, chief of the Namgis First Nation in British Columbia Bill Cramner explained the Namgis closed-containment facility on Vancouver Island grows Atlantic salmon on a commercial scale in a completely land-based aquaculture system.

"You can't guarantee there's no disease in a recirculated land based system so it's good to prepare for that," pointed out Cooke Aquaculture project manager for freshwater systems Mitchell Dickie.

Dickie explained the fresh water required to recirculate in a tank system amounts to approximately 8,000 litres per minute for a single, commercial-scale farm and he added that any disease that enters the system would spread immediately.

To this firm, which grows salmon in sea cages in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America and has 20 years' experience with land-based recirculating aquaculture systems, another hinder is finding the land to do all this tank farming.

Cooke's vice-president for communications, Neil Halse, stressed that to put all of its New Brunswick operations on land would require between 4,000 and 5,000 indoor tanks.

Halse also remarked that land systems require a tremendous amount of energy to power recirculating pumps and considers consumers would not be willing to pay a premium on the price of fresh salmon raised on land.

The Canadian aquaculture industry has been around for a little over 30 years and is estimated to generate over CAD 2 billion (USD 1.8 billion) annually while employing nearly 15,000 people from coastal and rural communities.

Salmon aquaculture has had its share of problems in the past, such as disease, sea lice, shock from sudden temperature changes and escapes into the wild.

Reproduced with permission. Copyright
www.fis.com

On the other hand, an analysis named:
"
Land Based RAS and Open Pen Salmon Aquaculture: Comparative Economic and Environmental Assessment"
conducted by: Trond W. Rosten, Kristian Henriksen, Erik Skontorp Hognes (SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture , Norway) and Brian Vinci, Steven Summerfelt (The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute, USA),
concludes "Land-based production of Atlantic salmon in this model RAS system do not have a higher production cost and lower return on investment than production in a Model Net Pen farming system, given that a premium price for RAS-farmed salmon can be achieved"


 

 
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