Cooke cooks up US$30-million post-smolt RAS project

Hatchery International staff
March 03, 2019
By Hatchery International staff
Cooke Aquaculture is planning to build a US$30-million post-smolt RAS facility in New Brunswick, Canada – a plan that will enable the company to grow salmon larger on land before transferring them to saltwater net pens.

Officials at Cooke Aquaculture told members of the Chamcook Watershed Landowners' Association about the planned facility in a presentation on Feb. 12, according to a news report from local paper, The Saint Croix Courier.

The planned facility – to be built by Cooke's subsidiary Kelly Cove Salmon – will grow salmon to about 300 grams before transferring them to sea pens. This is more than double the typical weight of 120 grams salmon would be transferred from hatcheries net pens.

The planned RAS facility will be built in the Champlain Industrial Park in Bayside, New Brunswick, and will use the "most advanced water recirculation technology available," the Saint Croix Courier reported.

"This type of facility fits with the existing activities of the Bayside port," Joel Richardson, vice-president of public relations for Cooke Aquaculture, told the Saint Croix Courier. "Science shows that adding stronger, larger fish to the net pens reduces the chances of fish health issues. This new facility will help to reduce fish handling, reduce time at sea and reduce days to market."

Kelly Cove Salmon has applied to the New Brunswick Department of Environment and local government to drill additional wells for water testing and supply in the Chamcook watershed. Instead of drawing water from Chamcook Lake, the company plans to source its water from deeper groundwater wells further into the watershed. Richardson said this approach is comparable to formerly active wells used to supply businesses in the Champlain Industrial Park, the newspaper reported.

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