Doug Millar and I agree on the importance of aquaculture to provide a healthy and efficient protein to a world population soon reaching seven billion (“Fish farms”). That is exactly why I began my career in salmon farming 20 years ago.
And while I also agree with Mr. Millar that land-based (aka “closed containment”) aquaculture farms are one method to grow seafood, I strongly disagree that this technology must replace ocean-based farms in order to protect wild fish. B.C. salmon farmers have a very good understanding of land-based salmon farms because we grow all our fish in them for one third of their life. We acknowledge that there are benefits to this type of system not realized in ocean-based farms, but we also understand the limitations as well. It’s not just about cost – other questions need to be answered as well and include; fish welfare, product quality, scale and location of production, and energy consumption (ocean-based system use tidal power whereas land-based farms require other energies to move water).
While B.C. salmon farming companies continue to invest in the latest aquaculture technologies including land-based recirculating aquaculture systems, we remain curious to see how this technology can be further integrated into our business.
In the meantime, we will ensure that our land-based and ocean-based operations are managed responsibly to ensure we look after our business, our fish and the environment.