Cooke Aquaculture to Develop New Process to Battle Sea LiceLow cost, green improvements will save millions of dollars for Atlantic salmon industry Jenny Keleher September 16, 2016
September 16, 2016 — St. Andrews, NB – (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency – ACOA)
Cooke Aquaculture is developing an environmentally friendly and economical device and process to remove sea lice from farmed salmon that will help minimize sea lice-related losses and provide a green alternative to managing outbreaks. The Government of Canada is investing $3 million in this project through ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, as well as $247,000 through Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program.
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour, announced the Government of Canada contribution today at the St. Andrews Biological Station, alongside Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest, and Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke.
This funding commitment complements the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda, which is designed to make Canada a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all residents. Today’s investment is a perfect example of this vision in action.
Specifically, the investment announced today will help further develop a device and process that uses warm water to remove sea lice from farmed salmon, achieving a 95% removal rate of the sea lice, which are then filtered, collected, and brought ashore for disposal. By using this green alternative to costly therapeutants, this device and warm water process will significantly benefit the industry by reducing costs and by providing salmon farmers with an additional, sustainable treatment option to a major fish health challenge. Successful implementation of the project will have a direct impact on reducing sea lice-related losses for Cooke Aquaculture and provide a green alternative to managing sea lice outbreaks, strengthening the Atlantic salmon brand and competitiveness in the marketplace.
Over the coming weeks, additional investments through the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) will be announced, bringing the total AIF investments in Atlantic Canada in 2016 to over $38 million. These investments focus on supporting advancements in clean energy and green manufacturing technologies, detection technologies for disease, as well as projects like this one to improve the health, growth and broodstock of Atlantic farmed salmon. Further, they build on the commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces in the recently launched Atlantic Growth Strategy.
“Aquaculture and its related industries employ thousands of Canadians and represent important markets for the province of New Brunswick and the Atlantic region overall. This investment supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to ensuring our fisheries are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
- The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Innovation is the path to inclusive growth. It fosters a thriving middle class and opens our country to new economic, social and environmental possibilities and is essential in shaping our future. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting projects like the one being undertaken by Cooke Aquaculture.”
- Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick South West
“Managing fish health has always been of paramount importance to our family’s fish farming business. That means working with our in-house scientists, veterinarians and engineers to explore innovative new ways of doing things. It also means partnering with science organizations and with our government to develop effective solutions for farming challenges like managing sea lice. Today’s announcement is a major step forward, not just for our company, but for Canada’s aquaculture industry.”
- Glenn Cooke, CEO Cooke Aquaculture
Associated Links :
- Atlantic Growth Strategy
- Atlantic Innovation Fund
- Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program
Senior Communications Officer
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Cooke Aquaculture (Blacks Harbour, N.B.)
ACOA Assistance: $3,000,000 (AIF Conditionally Repayable)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada: $247,000 (Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program)
Proponent Funding: $1,955,907
Total project Cost: $5,193,907
Cooke Aquaculture is owned by members of the Cooke family (brothers Glenn and Michael and father Gifford) and is based out of Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick. Since 1985, Cooke has grown from one farm with 5,000 salmon to a fully integrated company with operations spanning the Atlantic Provinces, United States, Chile, Spain, Argentina, and the United Kingdom. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, the company processes and sells 115,000 metric tons of Atlantic salmon each year. All of Cooke’s North American operations are 4-star certified under the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) designation. Cooke Aquaculture is the industry leader in the East Coast salmon industry and one of the top two producers of farmed salmon in the world.
With $3,000,000 in funding under from ACOA’s AIF, as well as $247,000 in funding from DFO’s Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program, this project will develop a novel device and process that uses warm water to remove sea lice from salmon in a manner that achieves a 95% removal rate of the sea lice which are then filtered, collected, and brought ashore for disposal. The device and process will be environmentally and economically attractive as warm water will be used instead of costly therapeutants, the components will be relatively low cost, and the overall design will be relatively inexpensive to fabricate, operate, maintain, and replicate for installing at multiple locations. The technology will be an additional sea lice treatment tool to complement existing treatment methods which include well boats, three bay managements systems, and other environmentally sound management practices.
Cooke estimates industry costs due to sea lice infestation in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador alone at over $15 million a year for the past five years. If successful, this project will have a direct impact on reducing sea lice-related losses for the company and provide a green alternative to managing sea lice outbreaks, thereby strengthening the Atlantic salmon brand and competitiveness in the marketplace as being an innovative and environmentally responsible product.
ACOA’s Innovation Programming
ACOA’s innovation programming, which includes the Atlantic Innovation Fund and the Business Development Program, responds to the evolving needs of Atlantic businesses and researchers. It is designed to help bring to market new products, technologies and services that will improve the competitiveness and productivity of the Atlantic economy. These programs also provide support to small and medium-sized enterprises across the region to acquire or adapt innovative technologies that can improve their productivity and competitiveness, while also enabling them to build the skills they need to innovate and compete in today’s global economy.
Since January 2016, the Government of Canada through ACOA, has announced investments of over
$35 million for 16 innovation and R&D projects in the Atlantic region. New investments totaling nearly $3 million will be announced over the coming weeks, bringing ACOA’s total investments for innovation projects in 2016 to over $38 million.