Canada urged to invest in land-based aquaculture
By Liza Mayer
Supporters of land-based fish farms said the escape of thousands of Atlantic salmon from Cooke Aquaculture’s ocean-based farm in Washington State on August 19 should spur Canada into supporting land-based aquaculture.
Canada is already host to North America’s first land-based Atlantic salmon farm, Kuterra, located on northern Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The pioneering project is owned by the Namgis First Nation and supported by non-profit Tides Canada on the basis that it provides open access to its knowledge. The venture has yet to turn a profit, however, more than three years into operations. It is now looking for a potential buyer or investor.
"The challenge is it's a higher capital (venture) than putting a net in the ocean. Building these controlled environments that pump water that's in a building is more costly, it's a trade-off," Steve Summerfelt of the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, told CBC News.
Bob Chamberlin, chairman of the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance, said Canada and the industry should invest into more sustainable ways to farm salmon.
"The government's infatuation with open-net cage fish farms means there's not the necessary government support with programs, tax breaks, capital incentives and so on to facilitate the flourishment of the closed-containment industry in Canada," he told CBC News.
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