The True North Salmon Company is leading the way when it comes to innovative salmon farming. We are truly committed to continual investment in pioneering science and research programs that have improved the quality of our products and the health of the environment.
Some of our very successful programs include the Offspring™ DNA Traceability Program, Broodstock Development, fish health and the 3-Bay Management Systems, all of which we are implementing with great results.
Diversifying with IMTA
We are truly excited about our continuing IMTA project. We have teamed up with world-renowned seaweed specialist Dr. Thierry Chopin from the University of New Brunswick and Dr. Shawn Robinson of the DFO St. Andrews Biological Station to institute Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture Systems (IMTA) at some of our salmon farms. We are pleased to be able to offer customers farmed salmon that is raised using this ecosystem-based approach. More research is being done to take this to the next level.
In this pioneering method of aquaculture, multiple species - fish, mussels and seaweeds, all chosen to complement each other - are grown alongside our salmon in order to recreate the natural and balanced ecosystem of the ocean.
At True North Salmon, we're now growing cultured blue mussels and kelp alongside our salmon cages. The main benefit of this system is that it produces very little waste as the by-products of the salmon become food for the kelp and mussels, which filter and clean the water as they feed.
It's economical, too, as both the mussels and seaweed can also be harvested for use as commercial crops. The blue mussels grown at IMTA sites grow on average 25 percent faster and are some of the plumpest mussels you've ever seen. They are also nutritious - when the mussels take up the excess fish food and nutrients, they are also enriching their meat with heart-healthy omega-3 that is found in the feed. The seaweed that is grown is turned into fertilizer and other products, and we are now experimenting with using it in our salmon feed.
Dr. Chopin's research shows a 50 percent increase in growth rate of kelp and mussels raised in this system.
The research partnership's work has been recognized by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which recently awarded the project with a Synergy Award for Innovation.
"It recognizes that we're doing an excellent job at university-industry collaboration and that R&D in aquaculture is competitive and can be celebrated," says Dr. Chopin.
IMTA is leading the way
"We are on a journey toward 100 percent aquaculture sustainability... it's all about reducing, recycling and reusing the available dissolved nutrients and organic matter."- Dr. Thierry Chopin
For more info on IMTA, visit Dr. Chopin's site.
In the U.S., we have partnered with Dr. Ian Bricknell and Jane Rolland at the University of Maine, to bring IMTA to our U.S. farm sites.