Land-based salmon aquaculture facility proposed for British Columbia

Responsible Seafood Advocate

RAS facility expected to produce 1,500 metric tons salmon

Construction on Taste of BC Aquafarms’ new land-based salmon aquaculture facility will commence in 2023, with an investment of approximately $35 million. Photo courtesy of Blue Star Foods Corp.

Blue Star Foods Corp, a sustainable seafood company with a focus on recirculatory aquaculture systems (RAS), has announced that its subsidiary, Taste of BC Aquafarms, applied for an aquaculture license from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Taste of BC Aquafarms is seeking approval to build a salmon aquaculture facility that uses a land-based recirculating aquaculture system.

The proposed facility in Campbell River, British Columbia will annually produce 1,500 metric tons (MT) of head-on gutted steelhead salmon. The cutting-edge facility will use Taste of BC’s module-based RAS. Construction is anticipated to commence in 2023 with an investment of approximately $35 million.

“Since the Government of Canada has committed to a transition of the ocean-based salmon farming industry to more sustainable and environmentally sensitive technologies, we are excited to be able to lead in the development of land-based salmon farming here in BC,” said Steve Atkinson, managing director of Taste of BC Aquafarms. “Our approach certainly meets their objectives, and we anticipate strong support from DFO for this project. Salmon farming is a vital part of our economy here on Vancouver Island and we look forward to being a major part of its future.”

This new proposed facility will be built in modules, essentially replicating what the team has done successfully over the years and will be situated on land with “ample room for additional expansion in the future.” Atkinson said that this is the first of several farms that the company intends to build.

The proposed site is co-located with a local distillery and barley farm. The 380-acre site features abundant fresh water with the capacity for future expansion. The salmon farm will operate with zero discharge off-site by capturing the water and nutrient discharges from the facility to fertilize the adjacent crops.

“The nutrient created by growing salmon will be used to grow barley which in turn will be distilled into Spirits,” said Ben Atkinson, CEO of Taste of BC Aquafarms. “In this facility, we will grow our salmon with innovative technology that respects the environment and ensures no contact with wild salmon species on our coast.”

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