Canadian Aquaculture R&D Review 2007

Organization Listings

Alberta Aquaculture Research

Funding for aquaculture research in Alberta has traditionally come from agencies such as AAFRD (Alberta Agriculture, Food & Rural Development), the Alberta Aquaculture Association (often through in-kind contributions) and the Lethbridge Community College (mainly through the use of the facility structure). Frequently, these individual groups work together as a team under the umbrella of the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE - situated in Lethbridge). In Alberta there is also aquaculture money available through the Diversified Livestock Funds of Alberta (DLFOA). This funding consortium assists with agriculture research and development on a variety of other diversified livestock species. Since inception, the DLFOA has contributed over $250,000 cash to ten aquaculture projects. Value of these ten aquaculture projects totals nearly $900,000.

In 2006, aquaculture research involved five projects, including: "Aquaponics Development", Northern Crayfish Trapping / Marketing Potentials", Recirculating Aquaculture Biofiltration Remediation", "New Species Development for Warmwater Aquaculture", and "Plant Protein Alternatives for Aquaculture Feeds".

Partnership with our federal Government continues, through the Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program. The ACRDP has approved assistance in the "Aquaponics Commercial Development" project at the provincial Crop Diversification Centre South, in Brooks Alberta. Federal - provincial cooperation in aquaculture is important for Alberta, and continues through recent industry workshops for strategic planning and direction. Report contributed by Eric Hutchings, AAFRD.

The British Columbia Aquaculture

The British Columbia Aquaculture Research and Development Committee (BCARDC) - Aquaculture and Environment Fund

BCARDC was formed to enhance aquaculture research and development capacity and organization on the Pacific coast. Operating under the umbrella of the BC Innovation Council, BCARDC: . Identifies and sets regional aquaculture R&D priorities;

  • Provides strategic direction and advice regarding aquaculture-related R&D expenditures;
  • Enables communication and improves coordination amongst entities involved in R&D and extension services related to aquaculture in British Columbia; and
  • Provides reliable information on aquaculture, its activities and its sustainable management.

The BC Aquaculture Research & Development Committee encourages independent research to foster a fully sustainable aquaculture industry in British Columbia in conjunction with the stewardship of aquatic resources. The Committee exists to define research priorities, fund and coordinate research projects and communicate research results to the broader community. With industry representatives in the finfish and shellfish aquaculture sector as well as federal and provincial government agencies and university research institutions, the Committee has worked to significantly develop research capacity in British Columbia. The Aquaculture and Environment Fund was provided by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. For more information go to: www.bcinnovationcouncil.com/initiatives/aquaculture.php

Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ)

MAPAQ promotes the sustainable development and competitiveness of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Quebec. Its Innovation and Technologies Branch supports the scientific research and industry technical support programs carried out by its four R&D centres: Centre maricole des Îles-de-la-Madeleine; Centre aquaculture marin de Grande-Rivière; Station technologique piscicole des eaux douces, in Quebec City; Centre technologique des produits aquatiques, in Gaspé. These research centres generate knowledge useful to the industry and coordinate the technical assistance provided to aquaculture companies by a network of collaborators spread across Quebec. MAPAQ is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies and programs intended to promote innovation. It provides financial support for technology watch, R&D, technology transfer and information dissemination projects, and encourages collaboration between industry, institutions and R&D organizations. Mandated by the Quebec government, MAPAQ also allocates support from two research funds managed by the Société de développement de l'industrie maricole (SODIM) and the Société de recherche et de développement en aquaculture continentale inc. (SORDAC), and finances R&D organizations such as the Centre aquaculture du Côte-Nord, the Centre de transfert et de selection des salmonidés and the Centre de recherche sur les biotechnologies marines. For more information go to: www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca/Fr/Peche/md/recherche/

National Research Council Institute for Marine Biosciences (NRC-IMB)

The National Research Council Institute for Marine Biosciences (NRC-IMB) in Halifax is one of the main anchors for life sciences research in Atlantic Canada. Its Industry Partnership Facility (IPF) and its coastal Marine Research Station enable companies to work side-by-side with researchers while gaining access to the institute's advanced research technologies. With a flexible and multidisciplinary approach, its life sciences research targets aquaculture, natural toxins and advanced research technologies, which include expertise in bioinformatics, functional genomics, metabolomics and proteomics.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) was established in 1987 as the federal government's regional development agency for Atlantic Canada. ACOA has a broad mandate to increase employment opportunities and earned income in the Atlantic region.

The Agency has identified aquaculture as one of several strategic sectors for Atlantic Canada. In recent years, ACOA investments in aquaculture R&D have focused on: salmon broodstock enhancements; cod and halibut aquaculture development; fish health; technology and services for the shellfish industry; developing extracts from marine plants; improving effluent treatments systems for land-based aquaculture; and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture.

Through the Atlantic Innovation Fund and the Business Development Program, ACOA has worked in partnership with industry stakeholders to make investments that build upon the industry's competitive advantages. The Atlantic Innovation Fund was designed to increase the region's capacity to carry out leading-edge R&D that will lead to the launch of new products, processes and services. (For additional information: http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/e/financial/aif/index.shtml )

ACOA's Business Development Program was created to provide repayable financial assistance to small- and medium-sized enterprises to establish, expand or modernize operations. (For additional information: http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/e/financial/business.shtml)

AquaNet - Canada's Research Network in Aquaculture

Created in 1999 as a Network of Centres of Excellence to foster a sustainable aquaculture sector in Canada, AquaNet pursues a strategically focused research program that balances urgent, sector-relevant priorities with long-term research needs. It addresses various aspects of the sector including production, environmental and social concerns. Provided with seed money of $3.6 million annually as part of the federal government's innovation strategy, AquaNet has mobilized over one hundred researchers at universities across Canada and through international partnerships that connect excellent science with sector know-how and investment.

AquaNet has focused its activities in several key areas:

  • Increased efficiencies and diversification: Researchers are investigating the development and evaluation of new husbandry practices, including novel feeds, aimed at maintaining the well-being of cultured species while ensuring the production of a superior product. This is complemented by research to address disease and fish health priorities.
  • Environmental Integrity and Coastal Management: Research into the development of integrated coastal management schemes that account for all users of the aquatic resource. AquaNet also utilizes international research partnerships to develop risk factor models related to wild - farmed interactions and the development of integrated aquaculture that combines seaweed, mussels and salmon for optimal results. Complementary research addresses social aspects affecting the sustainability of the aquaculture sector.
  • Fish Health and Welfare: A recently established Aquatic Animal Health Research Advisory Team complements fish health programs and AquaNet's research into understanding the risks posed by fish diseases and developing mitigative strategies.

Underlying AquaNet's activities is the commitment to the development of innovative processes or products, an understanding and mitigation of any risk to the local environment and communities and utmost respect for the local and traditional knowledge.

AquaNet's vision is to help achieve a sustainable aquaculture sector, that is based on innovation and diversification, and the harmonisation and integration of the wild and capture fisheries into one sustainable aquaculture sector under a management framework that has widespread Canadian public support.

AquaNet's funding through the Network Centres of Excellence (NCE) program was discontinued in 2006. All AquaNet funded projects are to be completed by July 2007.

Pacific Salmon Forum

The BC Pacific Salmon Forum is an initiative of the Government of British Columbia, an independent citizen body using science and stakeholder dialogue to advance the sustainable governance of BC Pacific salmon. Appointed by the Premier Campbell, the Forum began operation in April 2005 and has been asked to develop recommendations to:

Protect and enhance the viability of wild salmon stocks and their economic, social and environmental benefits to British Columbians;

Increase public confidence in fisheries management generally, and aquaculture in particular, within the marine environment;

Enhance the economic, social and environmental sustainability of aquaculture for all coastal communities.

The Forum's goal is to generate balanced and impartial public policy recommendations by directing key research questions to appropriate government or academic institutions and engaging salmon industry stakeholders in an informed discourse about policy options. The Province allocated $5 million to fund the work of the Forum over a three-year period with over $4 million dollars allocated to outreach and research initiatives. For more information go to: www.pacificsalmonforum.ca

The Réseau Aquaculture Québec

The Réseau Aquaculture Québec (RAQ) is a network of researchers (academic, provincial and federal government researchers, CEGEP professors) involved in aquaculture research in Québec. The network has been supported by Valorisation Recherche Québec (VRQ) and the Société de développement de l'industrie maricole (SODIM) from 2001 to 2006. From 2006 to 2012, the network will be supported through the "Réseaux stratégiques" program of the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT). RAQ's succeeded to bring together all Québec researchers with an interest in finfish and shellfish aquaculture, in both the fresh and marine environments, and to provide them with a forum for comparing and combining their research results and expertise.

RAQ has always had very close contact with the aquaculture industry in Québec, especially to its close association with SODIM and the Société de recherché et de développement en aquaculture continentale (SORDAC), partners who play an active role in the elaboration of the RAQ's scientifi c program. For more information contact Céline Audet, Ph.D. Scientifi c Director, celine_audet@uqar.qc.ca or visit www.uqar.uquebec.ca/raq/.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

DFO's vision is excellence in service to Canadians to ensure the sustainable development and safe use of Canadian waters. DFO is responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs in support of Canada's scientific, ecological, social and economic interests in oceans and fresh waters. As a science-based, sustainable development department, DFO's research is focused, in part, on monitoring the aquatic living resources and their environment, maintaining related databases, and providing environmental information for marine and freshwater related activities. The agency also maintains scientific capacity to deliver advice to assess risk for an ecosystem based approach to integrated management and develop resource management practices, regulations and standards. By transferring this knowledge to clients, public and media it fosters the protection, conservation and sustainable development of living aquatic resources and ecosystems.

The mission of Aquaculture Science is to conduct targeted and applied research, monitoring, science advice and technology transfer in research areas such as sustainable aquaculture, preventing and controlling aquatic animal diseases, environmental interactions, and applying genomics and biotechnology to aquatic ecosystems.

In addition to the department's aquaculture science programs, there is the Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP). ACRDP is a DFO initiative to increase the level of collaborative research and development activity between the aquaculture industry and the department. ACRDP is an industry-driven program that teams industry with DFO researchers. The program allocates ACRDP funds to collaborative research projects that are proposed and jointly funded by aquaculture producer partners. ACRDP funding is approximately $4.5 million per year and is subdivided regionally. Since the program began in 2000, more than 180 research and development projects have been funded.

The key goals of the program are to:

  • Improve the competitiveness of the Canadian aquaculture industry;
  • Increase collaboration between the department and industry on scientific research and development;
  • Facilitate the process of technology transfer and research commercialization through closer collaboration with the Canadian aquaculture industry; and
  • Increase scientific capacity for research and development in the aquaculture sector.
  • Further information on priorities, plans, programs and projects can be found on the DFO web site: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

SORDAC

SORDAC is a no-profit corporation formed in 1993 by Quebec aquaculture sector stakeholders under Part III of the Companies Act (R.S.Q., c. C-38, s. 218). Its board of directors consists of 12 directors, 11 of whom are voting members-five from the private sector, four from the postsecondary education community, and two from the public sector-and one non-voting member from the public sector. Its 70 members, most of whom are active fish farmers, account for the bulk of Quebec's aquaculture production intended for consumption and stocking.

SORDAC's mandate is to:

  • build consensus on action priorities;
  • ensure the coordination and funding of research and technology transfer activities;
  • foster the implementation of integrated R&D programs with institutional and industrial partners;
  • promote effective networking between research and industry and partners;
  • in order to increase the productivity and economic viability of Quebec freshwater aquaculture companies.

To fulfill its mandate, SORDAC pursues the following objectives:

  • develop and implement a research and technology transfer strategy;
  • develop and fund research activities that can be carried out by industry;
  • organize and fund private-sector technology transfers;
  • ensure concerted action among stakeholders and complementarity of R&D and technology transfer efforts;
  • actively seek sources of funding for its activities.

To carry out its mandate, SORDAC received an initial allocation of funding of $600,000 from the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) for fiscal years 1993-1994 and 1994-1995, a second allocation of $871,000 for fiscal years 1996-1997, 1997-1998 and 1998-1999, a third allocation of $300,000 for fiscal year 1999-2000, a fourth allocation of $900,000 for fiscal years 2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003, a fifth allocation of $300,000 for fiscal year 2003-2004, and a sixth allocation of $1,200,000 for fiscal years 2004-2005, 2005- 2006 and 2006-2007.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

NSERC's role is to make investments in people, discovery and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians. The organization invests in people by supporting more than 20,000 university students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC also promotes discovery by funding more than 10,000 university professors every year and it helps make innovation happen by encouraging more than 500 Canadian companies to invest in university research. For more information go to: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/

Genome British Columbia

Genome British Columbia was founded in July, 2000 as one of five centres supported by Genome Canada. It is a research organization that invests in and manages large-scale genomics and proteomics projects focused on areas of strategic importance such as human health, forestry, fisheries, ethics, agriculture and the environment.

By working collaboratively with all levels of government, universities and industry, Genome BC is the catalyst for a vibrant, genomics-driven life sciences cluster with far reaching social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada.

Currently Genome BC is managing 28 large-scale projects with a total value of approximately $273 million. In addition to funding from Genome Canada, Genome British Columbia is supported by the provincial government and other investors.

Genome BC is currently supporting two projects with interest to the aquaculture industry. These are GRASP and cGRASP led by Drs. William Davidson (UVic) and Ben Koop (SFU). For more information go to: www.genomebc.ca/

The National Research Council Institute for Ocean Technology (NRC-IOT)

The Institute for Ocean Technology (IOT) is Canada's national centre for ocean technology research and development. It is a branch of the National Research Council of Canada and it conducts research of benefit to Canadian marine industries. As part of its mandate IOT offers world-class expertise and facilities to address engineering challenges in the aquaculture industry. This includes improvements to containment and mooring systems, and improved understanding of the how wind, waves, current and sea ice interact with man-made structures.

Using numerical, model and full-scale studies, the Institute can predict or evaluate the performance of engineered systems in the ocean environment. Its indoor research facilities include a 75-metre by 32-metre Offshore Engineering Basin, a 200-metre Towing Tank, and the world's longest Ice Tank at 90 meters. For information on how the Institute can assist your aquaculture operation, please contact Dr. Bruce Colbourne at D.Colbourne@nrc.ca.

In 2003 the Institute officially opened its Ocean Technology Enterprise Centre, a facility to assist the growth and development of new ventures in ocean technology. With a Young Entrepreneurs Program and a Co-Location Program for new enterprises, the center helps companies and individuals develop their concepts and technologies in a supportive environment. For additional information contact Noel Murphy at noel.murphy@nrc.ca or go to iot-ito.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/.

Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation

The Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) is in the business of solving problems and creating opportunities for the aquaculture industry and fishery through science and technology. Since its opening in 1989, over 200 leading Canadian companies in the aquaculture, processing, harvesting, biotechnology and related sectors have come to CCFI for help developing new products, new technologies and techniques, and solving virtually every type of technical problem that the industry faces.

What makes CCFI stand apart is the unique working relationships it has established with fourteen universities and colleges in Atlantic Canada. With these arrangements, the hundreds of scientists, engineers and technologists in those institutions provide their expertise and facilities to CCFI clients. Many are world leaders in their fields, and have made it possible for the Centre to carry out 670 industrial projects worth $80 million over 17 years.

The Centre offers its clients a comprehensive service. Industrial Liaison Officers analyze the client's problem or opportunity, draft a research plan and budget, identify and secure the services of scientific or engineering specialists to carry out the work, and if needed, enlist other organizations in getting involved. The Centre also helps fund the initiative.

CCFI shepherds the client company through the maze of activities in the research, so that it can continue to concentrate on its business needs. In aquaculture the Centre's scientific and technological services run the entire gamut from early feeding trials for new developing species to offshore cage development. For more information go to www.ccfi.ca or call our offices: in Halifax, 902-835-4210 and in St. John's, 709-778-0517

Société de développement de l'industrie maricole inc. (SODIM)

Société de développement de l'industrie maricole (SODIM) inc. was founded in 1997 for the purpose of providing firms interested in marine aquaculture with flexible financial assistance tailored to their needs. SODIM is a not-for-profit corporation and its mission is to contribute to the creation and development of profitable, competitive marine aquaculture enterprises.

To achieve its mission, SODIM has set the following goals:

1) To promote the development of a viable marine aquaculture industry within its territory, namely in the Gaspé Peninsula, Magdalen Islands, Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore, specifically by:

  • Providing financial assistance for the start-up, diversification and expansion of marine aquaculture enterprises,
  • Offering technical assistance and advisory services to marine aquaculture enterprises,
  • Promoting research and development and technology transfer in aquaculture; SODIM has two important tools with which to achieve its mission - an investment fund and a R&D fund. The general purpose of the R&D fund is to stimulate research and technology transfer and promote the development of freshwater and marine aquaculture enterprises in the maritime regions of Quebec. The fund is designed to support pre-competitive research activities, i.e., activities of a very practical nature. With the fund, SODIM seeks to promote innovation in the aquaculture industry in these regions. With the collaboration of its partners, SODIM is responsible for identifying research priorities and developing and overseeing the implementation of a science action plan. For more information go to: www.sodim.org/

Genome Atlantic

Genome Atlantic is a non-profit group, dedicated to promoting and fostering genomics research in the four Atlantic provinces. One of six regional genomic research centres in Canada, Genome Atlantic invests in large-scale genome research projects and platforms. It is dedicated to developing leadership in carefully selected areas of genomics and proteomics, and to build genomics investment and economic growth in Atlantic Canada.

In order to accomplish these objectives, Genome Atlantic brings together industry, governments, universities, hospitals, research institutes and the public in support of regional genomics research and its ultimate exploitation to help develop the knowledge-based economy in Atlantic Canada.

Research Programs within Genome Atlantic focus on local strengths, including health, agriculture, forestry and environment sectors. Programs include Atlantic Cod Genomics and Broodstock Development, Enhancing Commercial Culture of Atlantic Halibut and Senegal Sole, and the Atlantic Medical Genetic and Genomics Initiative (AMGGI). For more information go to: www.genomeatlantic.ca