Cooke Aquaculture is developing an environmentally friendly and economical device and process to remove sea lice from farmed salmon that will help minimize sea lice-related losses and provide a green alternative to managing outbreaks. The Government of Canada is investing $3 million in this project through ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, as well as $247,000 through Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program.
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour, announced the Government of Canada contribution recently at the St. Andrews Biological Station, alongside Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest, and Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke.
“Aquaculture and its related industries employ thousands of Canadians and represent important markets for the province of New Brunswick and the Atlantic region overall,\" stated LeBlanc. \"This investment supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to ensuring our fisheries are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.\"
This funding commitment complements the Government of Canada\'s Innovation Agenda, which is designed to make Canada a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all residents. The investment is a perfect example of this vision in action.
Specifically, the investment announced recently will help further develop a device and process that uses warm water to remove sea lice from farmed salmon, achieving a 95% removal rate of the sea lice, which are then filtered, collected, and brought ashore for disposal. By using this green alternative to costly therapeutants, this device and warm water process will significantly benefit the industry by reducing costs and by providing salmon farmers with an additional, sustainable treatment option to a major fish health challenge.
Successful implementation of the project will have a direct impact on reducing sea lice-related losses for Cooke Aquaculture and provide a green alternative to managing sea lice outbreaks, strengthening the Atlantic salmon brand and competitiveness in the marketplace.
“Managing fish health has always been of paramount importance to our family’s fish farming business,\" stated Clenn Cooke, CEO Cooke Aquaculture. \"That means working with our in-house scientists, veterinarians and engineers to explore innovative new ways of doing things. It also means partnering with science organizations and with our government to develop effective solutions for farming challenges like managing sea lice.”
Over the coming weeks, additional investments through the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) will be announced, bringing the total AIF investments in Atlantic Canada in 2016 to over $38 million. These investments focus on supporting advancements in clean energy and green manufacturing technologies, detection technologies for disease, as well as projects like this one to improve the health, growth and broodstock of Atlantic farmed salmon. Further, they build on the commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces in the recently launched Atlantic Growth Strategy.