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Reduction of ammonia and solids from Chinook Salmon culture facilities



Metabolic processes in farmed fish, as with all animals, produce wastes. Some of these are nitrogenous, principally ammonia, and they are released into the environment. Increases in nitrogen can occur with a decrease in the efficiency with which feed is utilized by the fish for growth and maintenance. The release of nitrogenous wastes into the environment can have implications for both the ecosystem and for the fish farming facility from which it is being released. Excess nitrogen release represents a potential economic loss in that it is an indication that feed is not being fully utilized by the cultured fish. The excess release can also result in regulatory consequences for culture facilities. Regulators and industry alike are looking for best practices to help reduce the greater levels of these compounds that can be found near farm sites.

This project will explore how feed regimes designed to stimulate compensatory growth Footnote 1 may be used to reduce nitrogen excretion into the environment during Chinook Salmon production. Adequately exploiting compensatory growth using alternating periods of feed deprivation and re-feeding has the potential to reduce the excretion of nitrogenous wastes from the fish in culture facilities into the environment while increasing better feed utilization by the cultured fish.

This research will help improve the ecological sustainability of Chinook Salmon reared in seawater and may be applicable to the culture of all salmon species.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2012 - 2014


Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Ian Forster

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