Grieg Seafood BC is constantly striving to adopt the newest technologies that aquaculture has to offer. Here are some of our current projects:
Gold River Hatchery – New smolt facility ‘RAS 34’
Grieg’s freshwater hatchery in Gold River is currently expanding to include a new state-of-the-art RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) building that will double Grieg’s smolt capacity. This building will replace two inefficient flow-through buildings to improve water usage.
Although COVID-19 stalled construction for a short period of time, the project will resume in August.
New Middle Point Development Project, Campbell River, BC
With plans for a new hatchery facility, Grieg purchased 38 acres of land at Middle Point, located around 10 minutes north of Campbell River. This project is on the shared territories of the Wei Wai Kum, We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge), K’ómoks and Homalco First Nations.
The plan for these 38 acres is a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) that enables growing fish longer on land before they are put into our pens in the ocean. Another benefit of a RAS is an increase in fish health (more durable and resistant smolts) as well as less time in the marine environment and, therefore, less impact on the ocean and wild salmon.
So far, the land has been cleared and environmental monitoring is ongoing. Recently Grieg did a walk through of the property with consultants and members of K’ómoks and Cape Mudge First Nations to ensure there were no areas of cultural or historical significance present. Environmental monitoring and working with First Nations to identify and safeguard culturally significant areas are important for the management of the area and for obtaining the permits and leases required.
Communications with these Nations are ongoing, and we will continue to work with them as the project moves into its next phases of development.
Remember to check back for updates on this project.
The Ronja Islander
On Sunday, Feb. 9, Canada’s most technologically advanced aquaculture wellboat docked in Victoria after a long journey from Norway.
Grieg Seafood’s newest vessel, the Ronja Islander, completed construction in Norway in late 2019, and was custom built to address some of BC’s salmon farming challenges, including sea lice and safe fish handling during live transfers to farms.
“We designed the Ronja Islander using input from our stakeholders and Indigenous partners. We heard some of their concerns around salmon farming in BC and turned those concerns into solutions when we built the vessel,” says Dean Trethewey, Seawater Production Director at Grieg Seafood BC who led the wellboat project.
“The transfer of sea lice from wild fish to farmed fish is an ongoing issue for our industry and for British Columbians who are concerned for wild salmon migrating by our farms, and this wellboat is here to help with that. In addition to its state-of-the-art removal treatments for sea lice, the process features 100% capture of the detached lice which will be disposed on land. This is important to us and to wild salmon.”
The CAD $40 million wellboat operates on both coasts of Vancouver Island, servicing 16 of Grieg Seafood’s salmon farms.
The Ronja Islander features the world’s most advanced fish-handling technology during both treatments and live transfers to reduce stress for the salmon. New technology also ensures that in the rare event that any wild fish are captured during fish transfers, they will be separated from the farmed salmon and safely released back into the ocean.
“Sea lice treatment is a critical feature of the Ronja Islander, but the overall improvement in salmon welfare for both farmed and wild fish that the boat handles is just as important,” Trethewey says.
“We are always looking for ways to do and be better, and this vessel is not only the result of new technological advances in aquaculture – it’s the result of listening to the concerns of our partners and those who call BC’s coast home.”