The KUTERRA* Land-Based Closed Containment Project is motivated by concern for wild salmon; wanting to prove there is an economic way to farm Atlantic salmon that does not impact the marine environment.

On April 22nd, 2014, the first KUTERRA land-raised salmon entered the marketplace. 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). See

Image on the right: April 22nd, 2014 - 'Namgis Chief Bill Cranmer presenting the first KUTERRA salmon offered for sale to Renée Hopfner, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility for Safeway-Sobeys.

*"Ku" comes from "Kutala" which is salmon in
Kwak'wala and "Terra" reflects the sustainable "land raised" aspect of the fish.

See below for the latest Project information - last updated on May 5th, 2014.

Project Information: Josephine Mrozewski; KUTERRA Communications Director; 250-974-3599;

  • Click here​ for the latest Project photos (last images from April 22nd, 2014).
  • Click here for video updates on how the fish are doing. 
  • Click here for the latest General Project Backgrounder (May 2014).site photo
  • 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 May 5, 2014:

  • The very first premium fish (3 to 5 kg) were harvested on April 19th, 2014. 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 facility is now fully stocked with fish being harvested every week.
  • Construction and operations funding : 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.
site photo

Project Summary

he '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.

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 Freshwater Institute. 

' great 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 net-pens.

Environmental benefits of land-based closed containment

  • 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.  
Production benefits include:
  • 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 May/June 2012;
  • No losses due to parasites like Kudoa – soft flesh syndrome;
  • 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.

Project Documents:
  • Click here for the latest 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 Projec

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.