Technology and

innovation are driving

our industry.

Technology and innovation are driving our industry.

Where we started.

Example of an old wood salmon pen.

British Columbia’s ocean farming industry technology took hold in the 1960’s. Ocean farms were primarily constructed by wood – chosen for its buoyancy and flexibility. Technology and structures were born from wild salmon enhancement projects. Though technology has changed dramatically over the years, our passion for protecting wild salmon hasn’t.

Where we started.

British Columbia’s ocean farming industry technology took hold in the 1960’s. Ocean farms were primarily constructed by wood – chosen for its buoyancy and flexibility. Technology and structures were born from wild salmon enhancement projects. Though technology has changed dramatically over the years, our passion for protecting wild salmon hasn’t.

Where we are today.

An example of technology workers in a salmon farming environment

Today, land-based closed containment freshwater hatcheries use recirculating aquaculture system technology (RAS) to enhance efficiency and lower the demand on freshwater supplies. Land-based freshwater hatcheries help farmers grow fish to the ‘smolt’ size, before transitioning them into ocean-based farms for the grow-out phase.

Literally billions of young fish have been hatched and raised to the smolt stage on land. In addition to land-based smolt facilities, the salmon farming industry also successfully operates land-based facilities for a variety of broodstock programs.

Salmon smolt swimming in enclosed pen.

While some small-scale commercial production facilities do exist, land-based facilities for the post-smolt grow-out phase are not yet the best choice. Aside from real costs of energy, water and land useage, early maturation of salmon greatly exceeds that of ocean farm production, compromising fish health status and making fish more susceptible to disease.

An illustration of a salmon pen feeding system.

Ocean farming feeding systems utilize environmental sensors, hydroacoustic technology, production control software, and autonomous feeding systems work together to ensure fish are fed at the right time. This highly-technical and centralized feeding concept is capable of managing the feeding of multiple cages at multiple locations—all from a single laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

Salmon Farming pen graphic illustrating various functional elements
Camera Development

Development of novel camera solutions to improve feeding control and allow implementation of machine vision.

Net Solutions

Development and testing of novel antifouling and autonomous net cleaning solutions.

Variable Feeding Depth

Development and testing of technology that enables variations in depth, to capitalize on spatial differences in environmental conditions.

Sea lice is naturally occurs in the ocean environment. BC ocean farmers have recently introduced globally leading lice management technology. Hydrolicers move the salmon through a system of ocean water jets; these jets flush the sea lice off the fish, capture the lice and lice eggs. Bubble curtains are another modern sea lice prevention method, this device releases a line of air bubbles that rise from the bottom to the surface of the pen. The air bubbles create a barrier or wall that deters sea lice from entering the ocean farm.

Watch Video
An example of a salmon hydrolicer.
Hydrolicer

Wellboats now have the ability to do freshwater treatments on board by producing H2O through reverse osmosis systems. The dewater systems—that remove fish from water for treatment—allow the water to be recycled for multiple uses.

Where we are today.

An example of technology workers in a salmon farming environment

Today, land-based closed containment freshwater hatcheries use recirculating aquaculture system technology (RAS) to enhance efficiency and lower the demand on freshwater supplies. Land-based freshwater hatcheries help farmers grow fish to the ‘smolt’ size, before transitioning them into ocean-based farms for the grow-out phase.

Salmon smolt swimming in enclosed pen.

Literally billions of young fish have been hatched and raised to the smolt stage on land. In addition to land-based smolt facilities, the salmon farming industry also successfully operates land-based facilities for a variety of broodstock programs.

While some small-scale commercial production facilities do exist, land-based facilities for the post-smolt grow-out phase are not yet the best choice. Aside from real costs of energy, water and land useage, early maturation of salmon greatly exceeds that of ocean farm production, compromising fish health status and making fish more susceptible to disease.

An illustration of a salmon pen feeding system.

Ocean farming feeding systems utilize environmental sensors, hydroacoustic technology, production control software, and autonomous feeding systems work together to ensure fish are fed at the right time. This highly-technical and centralized feeding concept is capable of managing the feeding of multiple cages at multiple locations—all from a single laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

Salmon Farming pen graphic illustrating various functional elements
Camera Development

Development of novel camera solutions to improve feeding control and allow implementation of machine vision.

Net Solutions

Development and testing of novel antifouling and autonomous net cleaning solutions.

Variable Feeding Depth

Development and testing of technology that enables variations in depth, to capitalize on spatial differences in environmental conditions.

Sea lice is naturally occurs in the ocean environment. BC ocean farmers have recently introduced globally leading lice management technology. Hydrolicers move the salmon through a system of ocean water jets; these jets flush the sea lice off the fish, capture the lice and lice eggs. Bubble curtains are another modern sea lice prevention method, this device releases a line of air bubbles that rise from the bottom to the surface of the pen. The air bubbles create a barrier or wall that deters sea lice from entering the ocean farm.

Watch Video
An example of a salmon hydrolicer.
Hydrolicer

Wellboats now have the ability to do freshwater treatments on board by producing H2O through reverse osmosis systems. The dewater systems—that remove fish from water for treatment—allow the water to be recycled for multiple uses.

Where we’re going.

Examples of the screens used to monitor fish farming.

Ongoing development of state-of-the-art monitoring—combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence—will allow the industry to further optimize its use of sustainable feed with as low a reliance as possible on wild fish resources.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in virtually every aspect of the ocean farming business. From managing feed systems smarter, to repairing ocean farming production facilities, to proactive fish health treatments.

An example of an underwater camera.

Industry is testing new platforms to track, compare, and improve treatment strategies against sea lice. These platforms are based upon treatment effectiveness data across the entire industry; this database allows the platform to determine the best treatment to use under a given set of conditions (e.g. environmental, fish health etc.). The platforms will also allow the treatment effectiveness at a specific farm to be compared with the industry average.

Happy workers in a salmon production environment.

BC farmed salmon processors continue to identify and implement new technologies that will ensure that discharged wastewater will not negatively impact the marine environment. For example, the implementation of fluidized bed reactors will allow the removal of 80-90% of the organics within wastewater.

The industry is currently developing floating, semi-closed production systems. These S-CC systems will make use of a large but controllable water intake, solid tank walls, and optimized internal water hydraulics—and will have the potential to extract particles from the discharge water.

The industry is currently developing ocean farming technologies that will allow salmon farming to take place in more exposed deeper water coastal areas. Higher velocity water currents in exposed areas will facilitate a further reduction in the already minimal impact of salmon farms on benthic quality.

An example of an open ocean salmon pen.
An example of an enclose ocean salmon pen.

State-of-the-art floating closed containment systems have been designed to reduce losses in sea production, protect the environment against undesired impacts, increase productivity, and at the same time reduce production costs. The walls of these systems are impenetrable to both sea lice and pathogens—and escape-proof for the farmed salmon. Their water intake is filtered and then treated with UV light to prevent lice, algae, bacteria, and viruses from entering the production environment.

Post-smolt programs focus on rearing smolts (juveniles) to a larger, more robust size within land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) before transferring them to ocean-based production systems.

Salmon smolt swimming.

Where we’re going.

Examples of the screens used to monitor fish farming.

Ongoing development of state-of-the-art monitoring—combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence—will allow the industry to further optimize its use of sustainable feed with as low a reliance as possible on wild fish resources.

An example of an underwater camera.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in virtually every aspect of the ocean farming business. From managing feed systems smarter, to repairing ocean farming production facilities, to proactive fish health treatments.

Industry is testing new platforms to track, compare, and improve treatment strategies against sea lice. These platforms are based upon treatment effectiveness data across the entire industry; this database allows the platform to determine the best treatment to use under a given set of conditions (e.g. environmental, fish health etc.). The platforms will also allow the treatment effectiveness at a specific farm to be compared with the industry average.

Happy workers in a salmon production environment.

BC farmed salmon processors continue to identify and implement new technologies that will ensure that discharged wastewater will not negatively impact the marine environment. For example, the implementation of fluidized bed reactors will allow the removal of 80-90% of the organics within wastewater.

The industry is currently developing floating, semi-closed production systems. These S-CC systems will make use of a large but controllable water intake, solid tank walls, and optimized internal water hydraulics—and will have the potential to extract particles from the discharge water.

An example of an open ocean salmon pen.

The industry is currently developing ocean farming technologies that will allow salmon farming to take place in more exposed deeper water coastal areas. Higher velocity water currents in exposed areas will facilitate a further reduction in the already minimal impact of salmon farms on benthic quality.

An example of an enclose ocean salmon pen.

State-of-the-art floating closed containment systems have been designed to reduce losses in sea production, protect the environment against undesired impacts, increase productivity, and at the same time reduce production costs. The walls of these systems are impenetrable to both sea lice and pathogens—and escape-proof for the farmed salmon. Their water intake is filtered and then treated with UV light to prevent lice, algae, bacteria, and viruses from entering the production environment.

Salmon smolt swimming.

Post-smolt programs focus on rearing smolts (juveniles) to a larger, more robust size within land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) before transferring them to ocean-based production systems.

A photo of Damon.

Our Stories

Meet Damon, he’s a passionate salmon farmer based in Tofino, BC. Having grown up in Tofino, the environment is everything to him. That’s why he’s proud to be working in an industry that uses technology  and innovation to support and protect the environment, helping his fish thrive on the wild west coast.

Hear from Damon and others about how the Salmon Farming Farming industry is raising opportunity in their communities.

Tech Report

Read the full Technology Report here.

Q+A

Answers to some common questions.