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To provide better tools for the Aquaculture industry, we took a tour of a Marine Harvest salmon farm to gain insights into the needs of site managers.
Last week, our team had the pleasure of attending the Aquaculture Canada 2015 conference in British Columbia. During the conference, we had the chance to learn about the aquaculture industry from a number of different professionals, site managers, researchers, scientists, and students. As the days progressed we became more and more excited about an opportunity we had to visit a Marine Harvest salmon Aquaculture site in the waters around Campbell River.
After the conference had ended, we rented a car and drove through the beautiful scenery of British Columbia until we reached Campbell River. When we arrived, there were two water taxis waiting for our tour group which consisted of a number of industry professionals, government personnel, and farmers.
We took off for the hour-long scenic boat ride to the farm site, on the way there we experienced whirlpool waters and a family of orcas swimming freely in the ocean.
The tour started with the Marine Harvest site manager going over safety procedures and showing us the common living areas. With a full kitchen and living room area, the staff had everything they needed, plus an amazing view of the mountains.
A shot of the fish swimming in the pens
Marine Harvest produces only fresh product at the highest grade of Salmon, sushi grade. Their product is delivered to the surrounding regions, with most of their harvest going to the United States.
The Marine Harvest salmon site that we saw is considered one of the company’s smaller farms, although to me it seemed sufficiently large. There was a total of 8 pens with varying sizes of fish in each. Our guide explained that at this point, on this farm they no longer size grade because they do not want to stress out the fish. As such, it provides a variety of salmon sizes at the time of harvest.
It takes three days from the time the salmon are harvested to being on a dinner plate at a restaurant in the USA. That is fresh salmon!
Ask us about ROVs and get your fish farm a convenient inspection option on hand
They cared deeply for the fish welfare and integrity of the site. I encourage anyone who has the chance, to visit an aquaculture site before deciding whether or not to support farmed fish. What I have learned is that our oceans do not have enough wild fish to feed the world so alternatives like salmon farming are necessary when providing food for the global population. As such, farmers and site managers in Canada have been working very hard to minimize any impacts on the surrounding ecosystems and wild fish populations.
Here at Deep Trekker we always encourage everyone to explore, ask questions and learn as much as they can before coming to a conclusion about any particular aspect of the oceans. In most cases, people are surprised by what they find!
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