Kuterra, North America’s first land-based fish farm, has formalized an agreement to procure salmon smolts from ocean-based farmers Cermaq Canada for the next four years.
Cermaq has been the main smolt supplier since 2014, so the new agreement doesn’t represent a change so much as it gives stability to both businesses going forward.
Kuterra is operated by Emergent Holdings, an American investment firm, though the ‘Namgis First Nation still own the farm.
The smolt supply agreement takes effect next October and lasts until 2024.
‘Namgis built Kuterra in 2013 to demonstrate that land-based fish farming is a viable model. At the time it was the first land-based farm in North America. The ‘Namgis have been consistently opposed to ocean farming in their territory.
Interest in land-based farming has since increased. Emergent Holdings’ company, Whole Oceans, is building a large land-based farm on the east coast. Gaining the expertise in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), the technology used to circulate fresh salt water through fish tanks, was the main reason Emergent leased Kuterra last December.
Cermaq Canada, based in Campbell River, has 25 salmon farm licenses and operates four hatcheries on northern Vancouver Island.
Emergent Holdings is exclusively focused on agriculture and aquaculture businesses, and invests in companies for their expertise in these areas.
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