Sunday, 3 November 2013

Key Document - Land-Based Closed-Containment Fish Farm Science 2013, Updated Nov 3, 2013

International Summit on Farming Fish in Land-Based Closed-Containment Systems.

140 participants from 14 countries met in West Virginia in September, 2013 to share expertise on growing fish on land with recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for the sake of the sustainable fish production and food security. 

This is the Tides Canada weblink for the 50 plus presentations:

This is a major collection of current science on closed containment from around the world and I suggest you go take a look at some of the presentations. This is a wonderful collection of papers, and is a credit to both Tides Canada for assembling all this work in one place on the web, and to the Save Our Salmon group for being involved.

This is the SOS link:

It is clear that fish farms will have no choice but to move to closed containment RAS systems that eliminate the problems caused by in-ocean net-pens, such as spilling raw sewage into pristine oceans, diseases, parasites, chemicals, escaped fish, genetic issues with wild fish, passing disease and parasites to wild salmon and killing them. The latter is a big issue in the Pacific Ocean as 10 species of wild salmonids, and other species, are threatened, from California to Korea. 

The NGO Save Our Salmon sent Chief Bill Cranmer, SOS President Eric Hobson and Dr. Andrew Wright who presented on the ‘Namgis Closed Containment Project in order to help catalyze a shift to this more sustainable technology. The farm is located on land beside the Nimpkish River, Vancouver Island, BC. and aims to grow Atlantic salmon to market size and reap the benefit as a brand distinct from the open net-pen product that now sells for considerably less as most consumers in the western world now avoid buying it for the environmental damage it causes.

Three issues that the fish farm giants suggest why they don't want to use RAS on land are: cost of electricity used, carbon footprint and capitalization. Presentations show that heat pumps reduce the power of electricity used by a factor of ten for on-land systems. They also show that when the raw sewage spillage is taken into account that net-pen in-ocean operations have a carbon footprint ten times that of on-land systems. As for capitalization, the Standing Committee on Closed Containment, of the federal Canadian government, recommends programs for making capital available. 

But until the government legislates fish farms out of the ocean, they will not move. This is an issue like airbags in cars. Car manufacturers said it couldn't be done for competitive cost pressure reasons. The government legislated airbags into cars and now every car in the world has airbags. As soon as BC removes site licences, the farms will be out of the water in 60 days.

As fish farms are a net negative to the BC economy, if they move back to Norway, BC still comes out far ahead in Gross Provincial Product and revenue from the sport, commercial and processing sectors in BC. In an upcoming post, I will detail the numbers. Some are staggering, for example, my first estimate of the cost of raw sewage spilling into our pristine ocean, a cost that the citizens of BC bear, exceeds $11 Billion, with the industry revenue size of only $469 Million, and the very small GPP contribution of only $61.9 Million, and only 1700 jobs (this is a BC Stats econometric, multiplier number, and I accept it as accurate. But I have collected the actual job numbers in this very small industry and it was only 840, after Marine Harvest let 60 staff go just before Christmas in 2011. Marine Harvest in particular has a Kudoa, myoliquifaction problem, and lost $12 Million of its stock in 2012. In 2013, MH Norway notes only 400 Canadian employees in their published numbers).


  1. Great info. thanks for the effort in explaining and sharing all of this! Please one more post about that.

    Fish Farm

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