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Canadian Aquaculture R&D Review 2009

Organization Listings

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 contact: Marc Kielley (

Genome Atlantic

Genome Atlantic is a not-for-profit corporation with Board members from all four Atlantic provinces, dedicated to the promotion of fundamental and applied research in genomics for the furtherance of scientific understanding and for the development of the knowledge-based economy in the region.

Genome Atlantic invests in and manages large scale genomics research projects and technology infrastructure throughout the Atlantic Region, with over $50 million in committed financing to date from Genome Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Federal and Atlantic Provincial governments, and other funding organizations.

This investment is ensuring that our best scientific minds stay in the region, while attracting talent from around the world and creating high quality training and employment opportunities for our local graduates.

For information contact: Dr. Steve Armstrong, President and CEO ( ) 

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 26,500 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.


Genome British Columbia

Genome British Columbia is a research organization that invests in and manages large-scale genomics and proteomics research projects and science and technology platforms 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 the province and Canada.

Genome BC's major investors are Genome Canada and the Province of British Columbia. This funding is complemented by other private and public investments. Genome British Columbia is investing over $380 million in 60 projects and technology platforms.
Established in 2000, Genome BC is one of six Genome Canada centres across the country.

For more information:

Innovation and Technologies Directorate (MAPAQ)

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec fosters sustainable development and competitiveness in the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Québec.

Its Innovation and Technologies Directorate (Direction de l'innovation et des technologies – DIT) supports programs involving scientific research and technical support for the industry at its three R&D centres: the Magdalen Islands Mariculture Centre (CeMIM), the Grande-Rivière Marine Aquaculture Centre (CAMGR); and the Aquatic Products Technology Centre in Gaspé (CTPA). These centres generate knowledge that is of use to the industry and coordinate the technical aid provided to aquaculture businesses via a network of contributors posted throughout Québec.

MAPAQ is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies and programs designed to foster innovation. It provides funding for intelligence watch, R&D, technology transfer and information dissemination projects and encourages collaboration between the industry, institutions, and organisations involved in R&D.

Finally, mandated by the Government of Québec, MAPAQ oversees two research funds managed by the mariculture industry development corporation (Société de développement de l'industrie maricole – SODIM) and the inland aquaculture research and development corporation (Société de recherche et de développement en aquaculture continentale inc. – SORDAC), and provides funding to R&D organisations like the North Shore Aquaculture Centre (Centre aquacole de la Côte-Nord) the Salmonid Selection and Transfer Centre (Centre de transfert et de sélection des salmonidés) and the Marine Biotechnology Research Centre (Centre de recherche sur les biotechnologies marines).

Pacific Salmon Forum

The BC Pacific Salmon Forum completed its mandate to the Province of British Columbia with the delivery of a final report and recommendations in January, 2009. It has operated since April 2005 as an independent citizen body using science and stakeholder dialogue to advance the sustainable governance of BC Pacific salmon. Since 2006 it has funded a variety of research initiatives and technical reports.

Before ending operations, the Forum funded several initiatives to be carried out in spring and summer 2009, including:

  • oceanographic data collection to support the refinement of the dynamic finite volume coastal ocean model tracking the movement of sea lice and other particles in the Broughton Archipelago;
  • marine monitoring and analysis of wild juvenile pink and chum salmon in the Broughton Archipelago during the out-migration period of March through June; and
  • lab and field study of the biological effects of SLICE®, (emamectin benzoate), a widely used anti-parasitic agent used on salmon farms to control sea lice, on the marine environment.

In addition, an independent peer review of the Forum's interim research findings from the two-year Broughton Research Program will be conducted.

Forum members are also urging the Province to appoint an independent science secretariat to assume responsibility for future research to support an ecosystem-based management approach. This research is necessary to evaluate all development activities in BC watersheds and nearshore marine systems, improving public confidence that urban and industrial activity is being undertaken based on the best science available.

For more information: A copy of the Forum's Final Report and Recommendations along with research results and other contracted reports can be found at This website will remain active for at least one year.

Société de développement de l'industrie maricole (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 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; and
  • 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.


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.


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 has succeeded in bringing 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 scientific program.

For more information contact Céline Audet, Ph.D. Scientific Director, or visit

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

DFO delivers programs and services that support the sustainable use and development of Canada's waterways and aquatic resources. On behalf of the Government of Canada, 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. It is DFO's mission to deliver to Canadians the following outcomes:

  • Safe and Accessible Waterways;
  • Healthy and Productive Aquatic Ecosystems; and
  • Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture.

In working toward these outcomes, the Department is guided by the principles of sound scientific knowledge and effective management.

DFO is the lead federal department for the sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture. Responsibility for aquaculture management and development (governance) is shared between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. We work together, with many other partners, to ensure that the legislative and regulatory framework for aquaculture is responsive to the public's and industry's needs.

DFO's aquaculture research aims to address regulatory knowledge gaps, and collaborative research and development with the aquaculture industry. Collaborative research facilitates the transfer of the latest technologies to the aquaculture industry. Research on the environmental effects of aquaculture also provides a solid scientific foundation for the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat in marine or freshwater ecosystems. On-going research contributes to scientific certainty with respect to aquaculture operations and how they interact with the aquatic environment.

In recent years, DFO's research effort has been directed at understanding environmental effects of aquaculture on freshwater and marine habitat and ecosystems. We also invest in aquatic animal health research to understand how best to prevent, mitigate and treat disease. As species diversification is often seen as a means of increasing Canada's global market share, DFO scientists also play a key role in innovative research.

DFO enables research pertaining to aquaculture in Canada through the implementation of research funding programs. These programs vary in their mandates, resulting in a comprehensive strategy for funding scientific research, development or pre-commercialization, whether the research team be made up of researchers internal or external to the department, as well as differences in their funding envelopes and project timeframes.

The following five DFO programs are currently funding Canadian aquaculture research:

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)

The Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP) is a DFO initiative to increase the level of collaborative research and development activity between the aquaculture industry and the department, and in some instances with other funding partners. The ACRDP is an industry-driven program that teams industry with DFO researchers. Projects are conducted at DFO Research facilities or possibly industry partner facilities. The program allocates ACRDP funds to collaborative research projects that are proposed and jointly funded by aquaculture producer partners. The ACRDP funding is approximately $4.275 million per year and is subdivided regionally.

The key goals of the program are to improve the competitiveness of the Canadian aquaculture industry, increase collaboration between the department and industry to enhance aquaculture in Canada, facilitate and accelerate the process of technology transfer and research commercialization, and increase scientific capacity for essential aquaculture research and development in the aquaculture sector.

The broad research and development objectives, under which National and Regional priorities have been established, are threefold:

  • Best performance in fish production
  • Optimal fish health
  • Industry environmental performance

Since the program's inception in 2001, over 253 projects have been approved and funded. In total, over $59.2M in research has been funded through the ACRDP, consisting of $27.3M in ACRDP funds, $13.1M in industry contributions, $5.3M leveraged from other project partners, and $13.5M that DFO has contributed on top of the yearly ACRDP allocation.

For more information, please visit the ACRDP website at: Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)

Centre for Integrated Aquaculture Science (CIAS)

As part of the DFO Science Renewal, DFO Science has created Centres of Expertise (COEs) in key areas to promote innovation, effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of science. One of these COEs is the virtual Centre for Integrated Aquaculture Science (CIAS), with its Secretariat located at the St. Andrews Biological Station (SABS), New Brunswick.

The mandate of the CIAS is to lead, facilitate, coordinate, and implement an inter-regional and nationally integrated DFO ecosystem-based, longer-term aquaculture regulatory research program that supports the Department's aquaculture development and management mandate.

In order to deliver this mandate, the objectives of the CIAS are to:

  • Identify, implement, and coordinate national and inter-regional longer-term research approaches, programs and projects focused on ecosystem-based aquaculture regulatory research that address the relevant departmental aquaculture needs and priorities;
  • Help identify new capacities and expertise required to address existing and emerging ecosystem-based aquaculture regulatory science issues;
  • Help facilitate inter- and cross-laboratory partnerships as required to address inter-regional and pan-Canadian DFO ecosystem-based aquaculture regulatory science priorities in an effective and efficient manner, and within a nationally integrated research framework;
  • Help develop an awareness within the DFO Science community of the aquaculture related objectives and priorities of the Department, including emerging issues that require a science response;
  • Help communicate within DFO Science and to its clients (i) the priority needs for national and inter-regional DFO ecosystem-based aquaculture regulatory science, (ii) the science activities being conducted to meet those needs, and (iii) the results of those activities.

For more information, contact: Fred Page (, or visit

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)

The Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR) is an internal DFO research program that supports research projects focused on increasing the relevant science knowledge base that supports and advises informed DFO ecosystem-based environmental regulation and decision making of the aquaculture sector.

This program was created in 2008 as part of the New Aquaculture Program initiative, and the knowledge and information produced as a result of the funded research will support the Federal, Provincial and Territorial activities to develop a Canadian Framework for Aquaculture Environmental Risk Management.

Research priorities for PARR include understanding aquaculture-environment interactions, science to support fish health management, and genetic interactions between wild and cultured organisms.

For more information, contact: Ingrid Burgetz (, or visit Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR).

Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP)

In 2008 the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced a new grants and contributions program to bolster the development, early commercialization and/or early adoption of innovative techniques for the Canadian aquaculture sector. Over the next five years $23.5 million will be made available for innovation and market access projects.

The goal of this new program is to catalyze private sector and other investment in the aquaculture sector that will:

  • Improve the competitiveness of the Canadian aquaculture industry by encouraging an aquaculture sector that continuously develops and adopts innovative technologies and management techniques to enhance its global competitiveness and environmental performance; and
  • Position Canadian aquaculture products as having high value in the market place based on their environmental performance, traceability and other considerations.

Since June 2008 AIMAP has contributed approximately $4.5 million towards 26 projects totalling $37 million in value. These projects are contributing towards the program goals of sustainable development, species diversification or the development of green technology.

For more information, please visit the AIMAP website at: /aquaculture/sustainable-durable/innovation-eng.htm

Genomics Research & Development Initiative (GRDI)

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) uses genomics for the aquaculture industry and in the management of the wild fishery. These tools lead to better disease identification and control, development of techniques to accurately determine the population structure of wild marine fish and to identify endangered species and minimize illegal or inadvertent harvesting. As an enabling technology, genomics provides powerful tools and precise information to support operational mandates and upon which policy and regulatory decisions can be based.

The Genomics R&D Initiative was established for the purpose of building and maintaining capacity inside government departments to do genomics research. Through targeted investments the Initiative has enabled the establishment of critical mass in genomics research that supports innovation in key Canadian sectors, and ensures that federal departments can mobilize their support for the overall, national genomics effort (e.g., projects funded by Genome Canada, CIHR). Programs funded under the genomics R&D initiative are also used to augment human resources and help create partnerships with other government departments, universities, and industry (where applicable) through the sharing of technology platforms and by collaborating in research areas that cut across traditional departmental sectors.

For information, contact: Dan McPhee (, or visit

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