Port Alice mayor

Dr. Andrew Wright speaks on land based closed containment salmon farming

Dr. Andrew Wright presented his model of a land-based closed containment salmon farming system to councilors in Port Alice Feb. 9.

  • Feb. 17, 2011 10:00 a.m.

PORT ALICE – Forty percent of salmon purchasers want responsibly-raised salmon and they are willing to pay a premium to get it, said Dr. Andrew Wright in his presentation to Port Alice Council Feb 9.

Couple that with a demand for salmon that is three times what the market currently supplies and the public’s reluctance to see an increase in the number of open-net salmon farming operations and you have a perfect storm in favour of land-based closed-containment systems, said Wright.

Wright spent more than an hour taking councillors through the intricacies of raising salmon in his land-based closed-containment system. An example of Wright’s system is in the initial stages of being built by the ‘Namgis in Alert Bay. The 200 tonnes-per-annum project is aimed at optimizing the design for future large-scale commercial facilities and is expected to produce 5.5 kilogram Atlantic Salmon by the last quarter of 2012.

Wright said starting small is the key to building competencies among staff and ensuring that a failure if/when it comes does not wipe out the operation financially. The system he designed can start as small as 100 tonnes per year and be scaled up to as much 100,000 tonnes per year.

A 100-tonne facility has a footprint of 67 metres by 24 metres. The cost of energy for a plant that size would be $80,000 said Wright.

Wright just returned from working with Dr. Steven Summerfelt who operates the Freshwater Institute in West Virginia. and was part of a panel of four experts at the Seafood Summit in Vancouver earlier this month.

Wright cited closed containment operations that are successful. Bruce Swift, of Agassiz who raises salmon in a closed system and sells all of his product to high-end Vancouver restaurants. Washington-based, Domsea Farms sells 100 percent of its coho salmon to Canadian grocery chain Overwaitea who in turn market it under their premium SweetSpring label.

According to Wright, the advantages of being a “first mover” in this new industry on the North Island would be access to clean water, feed, knowledgeable employees, low cost land, equipment suppliers, and tax incentives.

Just Posted

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

PRACC Chair Fred Robertson happy with how windmill blade display turned out

“Rotary really stepped up, which was excellent.”

Island Foods renovates bottle depot and cans old bottle return system

“I don’t want people to spend the whole day here,” said Angela Taylor on Port McNeill’s bottle depot.

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

B.C. VIEWS: Looking under the hood of ICBC’s war on crashes

Is our accident rate really soaring, or is it inefficiency?

B.C. tent city residents have three weeks to clear out: Supreme Court

Fire risk, criminal activity in neighbourhood cited as reasons for judgment

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

Most Read