Open net-cage salmon farming has many negative environmental implications, primarily because there is no physical separation between farms and the marine environment. Many have called for immediate precautionary farm fallows along BC’s wild salmon migration routes. Fallowing farms is the easiest way to protect wild salmon and the ecosystems they occupy. Watershed Watch is not “anti-aquaculture”, once open-net cage farms are fallowed, closed-containment technology may be suitable to supply our fish needs in a less harmful manner.
Closed containment farming separates farm fish from marine ecosystems with a physical barrier or wall and includes mechanisms to limit external impacts on the environment. Closed containment may be a long-term solution to many of the environmental impacts of today’s aquaculture industry. Numerous groups and government appointed bodies have recognized the growing wave of potential this technology holds. See below for a list of additional reports and resources regarding closed containment.
Closed containment technology has a number environmental advantages over its out-dated predecessor:
- elimination or reduction of disease and parasite transfer to wild fish;
- collection and treatment of solid waste and nutrient discharge;
- reduction in the use of chemicals and other pollutants; and
- elimination of marine bird and mammal entanglements and death.
The ‘Namgis First Nation’s KUTERRA land-based salmon farm had its first salmon enter the market place on April 22nd, 2014. These salmon grew to full size in only a year with savings of about 30% in feed without any use of chemicals (antibiotics or pesticides).
For more information on closed containment salmon farming see the resources below:
- The ‘Namgis First Nation’s KUTERRA land-based salmon farm. Click here for the latest informaton -includes progress updates, backgrounder, photos, and media coverage.
- SOS Marine Conservation commissioned reports by Dr. Andrew S. Wright: 1) Salmon Aquaculture GHG Emissions – A Preliminary Comparison of Land-Based Closed Containment and Open Ocean Net-Pen Aquaculture (Updated August 24, 2011) and 2); Technologies for Viable Salmon Aquaculture – An Examination of Land-Based Closed Containment Aquaculture (May 2010)
- World Wildlife Fund, 2013; Pre-study Opportunities and challenges for sustainable farming of salmon in closed systems and offshore in Norway
- March 2013; Closed Containment Salmon Aquaculture – Report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans
- January 2013: Atlantic Salmon Federation and Conservation Fund report on growout trial of land based freshwater, closed-containment systems for Atlantic salmon
- Reports and presentations from Tides Canada’s Aquaculture Innovation Workshops
- Atlantic Salmon Federation’s pages on closed containment, includes presentations and abstracts from the October, 2012 ASF Workshop on Closed Containment
- The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel, February 2012: Sustaining Canada’s Marine Biodiversity: Responding to the Challenges Posed by Climate Change, Fisheries, and Aquaculture
- DFO Report, 2010: Feasibility Study of Closed-Containment Options for the British Columbia Aquaculture Industry
- Interprovincial Partnership for Sustainable Freshwater Aquaculture Development, 2008: Canadian Model Aqua-Farm Initiative Technical and Operational Assessment for the Canadian Model Aqua-Farm
- Land Based Closed Containment Salmon Aquaculture Workshop, April 26th -27th 2010
- Encouraging Innovative Solutions for Salmon Aquaculture, November 29, 2007
- Simon Fraser University’s 2009 Think Tank