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Sablefish, one of only two oily white fish species in the world, has experienced dramatic declines in its wild catch, making it a high value seafood product and a promising species for aquaculture production in Canada. To increase juvenile sablefish production, Sablefish Canada tested ultrasound technology to assess sexual maturity and sex in broodstock. The technology has proven very effective in determining the sex and sexual maturity of broodstock, resulting in reduced fish mortalities from biopsies to determine sex and a more balanced sex ratio. As part of the project, Sablefish Canada has prepared standard operating procedures for the use of ultrasound in sexing and determining maturation that are available to interested producers. New water supply and treatment technology installed as part of the project have also contributed to increased production through improved water reliability and quality. The plant’s new turbine water pump has eliminated water supply interruptions and requires less frequent replacement compared to previously used pumps. New ultraviolet water treatment technology has successfully removed dissolved nitrogen and eliminated bacteria colonies from intake water. In addition, the company has achieved nearly $7,000 in annual energy savings with its new broodstock heat exchanger that recovers cold temperatures from broodstock discharge water. This project has delivered remarkable increases in production; from 10,000 juvenile sablefish in 2009 to 300,000 in 2010, far exceeding Sablefish Canada’s expectations. The new technologies installed in this project ensure a more sustainable use of resources, while contributing to the conservation of wild sablefish stocks.
Project Lead: Sablefish Canada Ltd.
Total Project Cost: $205,000
DFO-AIMAP Contribution: $106,000
Other Financial Support:
For more information please contact the regional coordinator.
Pacific Region: Sean.Irvine@dfo-mpo.gc.ca