Ask and we’ll answer.

Ask and we’ll answer.

We’re an industry that’s raising opportunity on British Columbia’s coast. We get lots of questions, take a look at a few frequent ones below.

Have others? Follow up with us at info@bcsalmonfarmers.ca

We’re an industry that’s raising opportunity on British Columbia’s coast. We get lots of questions, take a look at a few frequent ones below.

Have others? Follow up with us at info@bcsalmonfarmers.ca

01

Isn’t salmon farming old school, like a bunch of pens in the ocean?

Salmon aquaculture is a fast-growing global industry, and here in B.C., we’re leading the charge. With half a billion dollars invested and planned from 2016 to 2022  in clean tech, innovation, and skills training. Today’s industry is highly-technical and skilled. Professional fish health experts, engineers, scientists, veterinarians, policy and communications teams make up the people raising fish on B.C.’s coast.

02

Can’t you just move the ocean farms on to land?

BC salmon farmers actually lead the world in land-based aquaculture. Several BC fish farmers operate smaller, boutique land-based operations and all of our ocean-based farmers raise fish for the first half of their lives in land-based hatcheries. However, any operation in the world that has tried to raise a large number of fish entirely on land has failed for one reason or another – the technology is being developed, but isn’t there yet. Also, raising a large number of Atlantic Salmon on land requires paving over a lot of soil for concrete tanks and huge amounts of water and electricity to replicate natural conditions. So land-based farming comes with significant environmental considerations that need to be part of the conversation. With demand for healthy fish to eat rising with the world’s population and new technology being developed it’s likely land-based fish farming will play a larger role in the future, along side ocean-based farming.

03

Do hydrolicers use chemicals or pesticides to remove sea lice?

No, hydrolicers use ocean water to gently remove sea lice from fish as they shoot through the hydrolicer. It takes a fish about 9 seconds to move through the hydrolycer, and water pressure is the equivalent to a garden hose. So, the fish are kept happy as we remove and dispose of the sea lice.

04

Doesn’t feed and salmon waste pollute the ocean floor beneath the salmon farms?

Salmon farmers are developing automated feeding systems equipped with innovative cameras coupled with machine learning capabilities to make sure they don’t feed more food than their fish can eat. This reduces the amount of food that is wasted. Salmon farmers are also developing new DNA-based technology to study the marine species living on the ocean floor beneath the farms. By monitoring these species, farmers can make sure that their farms are not impacting the quality of the ocean environment.

05

What is deep sea open ocean farming?

Salmon farmers are continually developing new production systems to raise more fish to feed the world’s increasing population. Typically, salmon farms have been located near the coast. By moving into the open ocean, salmon farmers can build bigger farms so they can raise more fish. The world’s first deep sea salmon farm was trialled three miles off the coast of Norway. It cost $300 million to build—and can hold 1.5 million salmon.

06

Don’t salmon farmers use a lot of wild fish to feed their farmed fish?

Salmon farmers have reduced the use of wild fish by finding alternative sustainable sources of protein and oil—like soy protein and palm oil. They even use trimmings and processing by-products from sustainable wild fisheries in their salmon feed—so they’re converting waste materials into healthy food. By doing this, salmon farming has become a net producer of high quality marine protein.What is floating closed containment technology?

07

What is floating closed containment technology?

Salmon farmers are designing floating closed containment (CC) systems to better protect farmed salmon during their life in the ocean—and, at the same time, make sure that salmon farming doesn’t impact the ocean environment. The walls of CC systems will be impenetrable to both sea lice and pathogens—and escape-proof for the farmed salmon. The water the fish live in will be filtered and then treated with UV light to make sure it’s healthy and safe for the fish.  And all waste material will be collected—so it won’t build-up on the ocean floor.  CC systems aren’t quite ready for use in BC yet…but we’re getting there.

08

Is machine learning and AI playing a role in industry work?

Industry is testing technologies that utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence. Examples include testing cameras that will radically change underwater monitoring. The new cameras will provide high-quality images that allow a machine to be trained to recognize and count sea lice. The switch to automatic sea lice counting will eliminate the need for laborious manual sea lice counting. Other applications in which machine learning and artificial intelligence are being tested are during feeding time, developing cutting edge strategies that provide our salmon the optimal feeding diet for happy, healthy growth.

We’re an industry that’s raising opportunity on British Columbia’s coast. We get lots of questions, take a look at a few frequent ones below.

Have others? Follow up with us at info@bcsalmonfarmers.ca

01

Isn’t the ocean farming industry old school, like a bunch of pens in the ocean?

Aquaculture is a fast-growing global industry, and here in B.C., we’re leading the charge. With half a billion dollars invested and planned over the past six years in clean tech and innovation, today’s industry is highly-technical and skilled. Professional fish health experts, engineers, scientists, veterinarians, policy and communications teams make up the people raising fish on B.C.’s coast.

03

Do hydrolicers use chemicals or pesticides to remove sea lice?

No, hydrolicers use ocean water to gently remove sea lice from fish as they shoot through the hydrolicer. It takes a fish about 9 seconds to move through the hydrolycer, and water pressure is the equivalent to a garden hose. So, the fish are kept happy as we remove and dispose of the sea lice.

04

What does recirculating aquaculture system technology (RAS) mean?

RAS technology helps land-based ocean farmers efficiently control the water temperature in which fish are growing. RAS reduces the need for fresh clean water sources, while maintain a safe and healthy environment for the fish. For example, land-based farms may use 90% recirculated water (cleaned and treated via RAS technology) and 10% may come from a clean fresh water source.

05

What is deep sea open ocean farming?

Most ocean farmers have typically grown fish on the coast, wherever they may be in the world. However, new production system concepts are allowing the industry to move even further beyond the coast—and into the open ocean. Ocean Farm I—a massive semi-submersible production system—has already undergone a one-year trial in the open ocean three miles off the coast of Norway. This $300 million project is the world’s first deep sea aquaculture endeavour. The system includes a 61m high x 91m diameter pen made from a series of mesh-wire frames and nets that are designed to disperse wastes better than conventional farms in sheltered coastal waters; as a result of this innovative design, the system is able to support 1.5 million salmon.

06

What is semi-closed containment technology?

Semi-closed containment are ocean farms that take 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 waste. In essence, using the power of the ocean and its ocean currents, but with more control. You can think of semi-closed as a hybrid between traditional ocean farms and floating closed containment technology.

07

What is floating closed containment technology?

State-of-the-art floating closed containment (CC) 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. The system also has the capacity to grind and spread waste sludge so that there is no build-up beneath the farm site.

08

Is machine learning and AI playing a role in industry work?

Industry is testing technologies that utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence. Examples include testing cameras that will radically change underwater monitoring. The new cameras will provide high-quality images that allow a machine to be trained to recognize and count sea lice. The switch to automatic sea lice counting will eliminate the need for laborious manual sea lice counting. Other applications in which machine learning and artificial intelligence are being tested are during feeding time, developing cutting edge strategies that provide our salmon the optimal feeding diet for happy, healthy growth.

Tech Report

Read the full Technology Report here.

Q+A

Answers to some common questions.