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Workshop: Toward Diversified Marine Aquaculture in Southwest New Brunswick: Opportunities and Constraints



Development of the aquaculture industry in southwest New Brunswick has focused mainly on salmonids, and in particular Atlantic salmon. However, recent research and development advances in alternate species culture combined with business and social opportunities and constraints suggest it is time for diversification.

At this workshop, each presenter was asked to provide their view of the single most significant opportunity and constraint to a diversified marine aquaculture industry in southwest New Brunswick. The purpose of the question was to provide participants with a clear understanding of issues that require immediate focus in order to support the continued development of this important industry. Table 1 presents a summary of the most significant opportunities and constraints notes by the presenters.

Perspective Opportunity Constraint
New Brunswick Aquaculture Policy The NB Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture considers different fish species together in total numbers of fish permitted on a site. This allows farmers to diversify to make the most efficient and sustainable use of the lease. There is a lack of information on which to make risk-based decisions. Information is available from research and development work, but large scale commercial development is necessary to build the knowledge base.
Fish Health Overall pathogen loads will likely be reduced by crop rotation approaches. Changing species on a leave will break cycles of pathogen build up, reducing the need for use of theraputants. There is a limited availability of vaccines for non-salmonid species. Availability of these products would further reduce pathogen loads and improve overall fish health.
Species Integration Research and development has resulted in a good level of knowledge to support integration of different species. It now needs to be applied in commercial settings. Diversification requires a change in approach and attitude at the farm level, within government, and in the community. This is often difficult to achieve.
Economics A diverse industry will support sustainable growth and job creation. Job creation is perhaps the biggest benefit of the aquaculture industry to the local economy. Access to capital limits the opportunity for growth. Diversification may require high capital investment for new equipment and stock, at a time when existing assets may be levered for operating costs of the core business-- salmon.
Husbandry Experiences here and elsewhere have resulted in a good understanding of the husbandry needs of altered species, and relationships with salmon husbandry. While the NB policy supports diversification, there is still a large regulatory burden at the provincial and federal level. This burden limits the opportunity and flexibility that diversification offers.
Recent Local Experiences The Bay of Fundy is a naturally diverse habitat region that can support a number of different culture species. The combined lack of capital and regulatory burden contribute to limitations in the resources available to a farmer.
Integrated Coastal Management Community support is strong from those in favor or development. Community objection is also strong from those against development.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2003 - 2004



Principal Investigator(s)

Denise Méthé

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