Closed containment technology enables fish to be enclosed in floating containers in the ocean or in land-based farms.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to research, both scientific and socio-economic, that looks at systems around the world – whether open net pens or closed-containment models -- and evaluates their strengths and weaknesses.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently completed two studies of closed-containment systems, one of which was an economic analysis to better understand the costs of implementing closed-containment systems.
What we discovered is that while some technologies may look promising, there are no closed systems currently being used exclusively for large numbers of adult Atlantic salmon in saltwater environments, and none that have been successful on a commercial scale. This makes it difficult to evaluate how economically and environmentally feasible a closed-containment system could be.
However, closed containment systems exist, and have existed for years, for hatcheries and for species like coho salmon and rainbow trout that can be grown out in freshwater.
Fisheries and Oceans will continue to support scientific research into closed containment systems to ensure that we are on the cutting edge of developments in this area.
Industry is also working on developing closed containment systems for Atlantic salmon. Swift Aquaculture, located in Agassiz, BC., has been farming coho in land-based tanks for several years. A smaller fish and one that can be grown out in freshwater, coho has been used in closed-containment systems for a number of years in the United States.