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Land-Based Fish Farm To Expand


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#1 pmorris

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 08:05 AM

From today's Chronicle-Herald: http://thechronicleh...-farm-to-expand

 

Land-based outfit launches $5.5-million project
 
 

A land-based fish farm in West Advocate is hoping to double its output with a $5.5-million expansion.

Canaqua Seafoods grows halibut, Arctic char and salmon smolt in seawater that comes from wells near the ocean. Founded in 2006, the Cumberland County company now produces about 95 tonnes annually of mostly halibut and some char.

“We entrain the water from the Bay of Fundy through, probably, 700 or 800 feet of gravel and sand,” Paul Merlin, who owns the company, said Friday.

“It comes into our wells and then we pump it into our tanks from there. That way we get a geothermal effect, so we never have super chill. And we also have a bio-secure water supply with no parasites or disease.”

He’s hoping the investment starts paying for itself within 21/2 years.

Canaqua employs 10 people now and Merlin said he’d like to increase that to 23 over the next decade.

“My market is down in the northeastern United States and Upper Canada, mainly,” he said.

“I do some local business, but not a lot. I haven’t really pushed it because it means a lot of door-to-door stuff. Whereas if I ship to a fairly large distributor, they take care of it.”

Merlin is a minority owner of Scotian Halibut, in Clark’s Harbour, which provides Canaqua with juvenile halibut.

“I get them around 10 grams and grow them up to eight to 10 pounds,” he said.

Canaqua’s parent, Merlin Fish Farms Ltd., has put $2.9 million into the expansion.

The province is lending Canaqua $1 million to help with the project. The 10-year loan comes with a 6.5 per cent interest rate, Merlin said. The company also got a $1.2-million grant from the federal government to build the new 32,000-square-foot building that contains eight tanks for growing fish.

The construction was completed last year and the first fish went in two months ago.

“They’re all monitored with alarm systems and the whole works,” Merlin said.

“When you have a few million dollars worth of fish there, you want to be watching them close.”

 


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#2 Terran

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 09:09 AM

Paul,

 

I see in the article that Mr. Merlin is a minority owner of Scotian Halibut. Scotian Halibut was recently mentioned in the news for providing "brood stock" to the Norwegian Aquaculture industry.

 

An article from May 31, 2013/ The Chronicle Herald:

 

 

Halibut juveniles a hit with Norwegian farms

May 31, 2013 - 6:04pm BILL POWER BUSINESS REPORTER

 

Increased demand in Norway for halibut juveniles has Scotian Halibut Ltd. of Clark’s Harbour swimming toward increased sales.

 

“The Norwegians operate the most sophisticated aquaculture operations in the world, so it says something about the quality of our product that demand there has increased so dramatically,” Brian Blanchard, general manager at Scotian Halibut, said Friday.

 

Blanchard had just received a preliminary report from people in Denmark that the latest air shipment of 30,000 halibut juveniles had arrived with near zero mortality and was on its way to Norway by ground transfer.

 

Scotian Halibut has an order for 100,000 juveniles from a distributor in Norway and is increasing production at its Clark’s Harbour operation in anticipation of increasing demand.

 

About 50,000 juveniles have been shipped to Norway so far this year. Another 50,000 will ship in the fall.

 

Halibut juveniles weigh about five grams and are shipped by air, bagged and in boxes containing about 2,000 fish each.

 

They are raised to full size at aquaculture operations in Norway for markets in the United Kingdom and Europe.

 

Blanchard said Scotian Halibut is operating below capacity and can handle the increased demand over time.

 

Norway is the primary market for the young Nova Scotia fish. Compared to the 100,000 ordered for Norway this year, sales in Canada amount to about 30,000 juveniles.

 

Scotian Halibut, a privately held company, received a $400,000 federal grant in September 2012 to advance construction of its rearing and holding system to increase brood stock productivity.

 

“We like to think that was a good investment, as we expect demand for juvenile halibut to continue to increase,” Blanchard said.

(http://thechronicleh...norwegian-farms )

 

Hopefully, Canaqua Seafoods isn't expanding to produce more Halibut stock for Norway and their open pen aquaculture industry.

 

Certainly, a land based facility producing a product for export is preferred over an open pen facility. It just seems a little disappointing if the "sustainable" nature of a land based aquaculture is then defeated by having these fish raised to market maturity in a Norwegian open pen.

 

Still, a closed containment success in Nova Scotia may tend to promote the technology for other ventures and different species.

 

Terran


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"In these sad and ominous days of mad fortune chasing, every patriotic, thoughtful citizen, whether he fishes or not, should lament that we have not among our countrymen more fishermen."  Grover Cleveland
 





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