'Namgis Closed Containment Salmon Farm
On March 18th 2013, the first fish entered the 'Namgis First Nation’s Closed Containment Salmon Farm - the first land-based, closed containment Atlantic salmon farm in Canada, and one of the first in the world that will raise Atlantic salmon to full market size. They are soon to be harvested, having grown to full size in only a year with savings of about 30% in feed without any use of chemicals (antibiotics or pesticides).
The Project is motivated by concern for wild salmon; wanting to prove there is an economic way to farm Atlantics that does not impact the marine environment.
The Project's fish are marketed as "KUTERRA" land-raised salmon. "Ku" comes from "Kutala" which is salmon in Kwak'wala and "Terra" reflects the sustainable "land raised" aspect of the fish. The tagline is "Sustainability Has Landed".
See below for the latest Project information - last updated on March 25, 2014.
Project Information: Josephine Mrozewski; Kuterra Communications Director; 250-974-9913; email@example.com.
- Click here for the latest Project photos (last update 2014-02-17).
- Click here for video updates on how the fish are doing.
- Click here for the latest General Project Backgrounder.
- Click here for the latest media coverage on the Project.
- Click here for updates dispelling the myths around closed containment Atlantic salmon farming.
- Click here for a video explaining recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) land-based closed containment.
Project Status Updated March 25, 2014:
- Click here regarding April 2013 negative communication related to the Project.
- Very exciting times! The
very first premium fish (3 to 5 kg) will now be harvested in early April.
Some were already just under 5 kg at only 10 months of age and now, some are over 8 kg! These fish entered
the quarantine unit on March 18th, 2013 as cohort #1 and will have
grown to harvest size in half the time it takes in open net systems
since growing fish on land
is not only better for the environment, there are many production
advantages. By controlling environmental conditions in closed
containment, stresses to the fish are greatly reduced and care of the
fish is optimized, leading to faster grow out, 30% less feed being used
and without pesticides and antibiotics.
- The 3rd cohort of fish has now arrived at the farm - some 40,000 smolts averaging at 100 g.
- Recent media items include signficant coverage in the Times Colonist "Containment fish farm near Port McNeill ready for harvest" (March 20) which has also been picked up by Undercurrent News "Albion to sell first closed-containment salmon from Namgis farm" (March 24) and on IntraFish "Albion to sell fish closed-containment salmon from Namgis farm" (March 25); Fish Farm International's February issue in "Proving a point - the First nation farm proving salmon can be produced on land" and in IntraFish on January 30th in "Canadian land-based salmon farm: 'Seeing is believing' - first commercial-grade project showing excellent initial results". Further media includes a January 20th broadcast on CBC Newfoundland's West Coast Morning Show of "Atlantic Salmon on the Pacific Coast" and January 6th CBC News article "Farming salmon on land is possible, project suggests - Future of fisheries may not require fish to ever see the ocean". Click here for the latest media coverage.
- Construction and operations funding update: Sustainable Development Technology Canada ($4.15M); DFO’s Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program ($800K); Aboriginal Affairs Canada ($498K); the Coast Sustainability Trust ($113K); the Ritchie Foundation ($154,745); and BC Hydro Power Smart ($143K). The federal funding has been leveraged with matching funding of $3.17M provided by the Tides Canada’s Salmon Aquaculture Innovation Fund.
- For funders of the earlier stages of the Project, please see the Project Backgrounder.
Project Summary ( Click here for detailed General Project Backgrounder - soon to be updated):
The 'Namgis Closed Containment
Project is growing out Atlantic salmon to 3 to 5 kg in a land-based, biosecure,
closed containment recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). The first fish entered the facility on March 18, 2013.British Columbia.
Unified in wanting to prove
the environmental and economic benefits of closed-containment salmon
aquaculture, the SOS Marine Conservation
Foundation is a valued partner in the Project. Tides Canada,
in addition to providing funding to the Project, provides advisory
support, including technical advice through the U.S. based
concern for the health of wild salmon stocks has guided the decision to prove
that there is an environmentally sustainable and economically desirable
alternative to farming Atlantic salmon in open net-pens.
RAS technology, which
continuously filters and recycles water to grow fish, has been successful in
farming other species. However, in order to establish a new land-based salmon
farming industry, that eliminates the interaction with the marine environment,
RAS needs to be proven for the Atlantic salmon now raised in open
Environmental benefits of land-based closed containment include:
Production benefits include:
- No discharge of
therapeutants like antibiotics and pesticides into the marine environment
(it is anticipated that there will be no need to use therapeutants in the Project);
- No amplification and spread
of sea lice to the wild salmon populations;
- The ability to contain and control pathogens (bacteria and viruses) and prevent them from entering the marine environment;
- No discharge
of waste into the marine environment;
- No culling and entanglement of marine mammals and birds; and
- No escapes of a non-indigenous species into the marine environment.
- Faster growth rate since conditions can be controlled;
- Less feed is needed;
- No losses due to disease transfer - ISAv in Chile 2007/2008 and 2013/2014,and
multiple outbreaks in the Canada's Maritimes since the spring of 2012 into the fall of 2013; IHN in B.C. in
- No losses due to parasites like Kudoa – soft
- No losses due to weather events, predators and escapes;
- Ability to use the waste as a resource (compost and aquaponics and or biofuel);
- More desirable product: Sustainably, biosecure; traceable; consistent supply and provides food security
- The ability to
locate close to markets; and
- Reduced costs for therapeutants like antibiotics and pesticides.
Click here for the General Project Backgrounder
- Click here for the Pathogen Control Backgrounder
- Click here for the October 2012 presentation on the Project at the Atlantic Salmon Federation's Land-Based Closed Containment Conference
- Click here for the presentations given at Tides Canada's Aquaculture Innovation Workshop on RAS technology (the most recent workshop was in April 2013)
- Click here for
the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation's reports on Closed Containment
- Click here for
the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) Decision for the Project
- Click here for
the 2011-11-22 Testimony on Closed Containment Aquaculture to the Standing
Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (FOPO) by Chief Bill Cranmer and SOS
President, Eric Hobson
- Click here for a summary of considerations regarding the Project's environmental security
- Click here
for Mike Berry's report on the AquaSeed coho farm (2011-10-04) as part of
developing the Independent Environmental Assessment plan for the Project
Video from the not-for-profit Freshwater Institute explaining land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). The Freshwater Institute in West Virginia is the world's leading research facility for RAS and their technical expertise is being made available to the 'Namgis Closed Containment Project through Tides Canada.