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article imageWhat makes Sustainable Blue land-raised salmon special? Special

By Karen Graham     Sep 28, 2015 in Environment
Halifax - While perusing the news this afternoon, I came across a story that piqued my interest because it was about sustainable farming of salmon on dry land, and not in the ocean, as most salmon-farming is done. Of course, I called the company.
Nove Scotia-based Sustainable Blue is located near the Bay of Fundy in Centre Burlington. On September 18, after eight years in the development of their proprietary aquaculture system, the company shipped their first orders of locally-raised Atlantic salmon to market.
Rob Johnson, the sustainable seafood coordinator for the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre was quoted by CTV News as saying this was a specific opportunity for Nova Scotia, and especially because the company has developed a "world-leading technology. "Government would be well advised to be supportive of leading edge technology ... to really aid in the development, commercialization and distribution of this technology," he added.
Clean water means no pathogens  and no disease means the fish lead a drug-free life
Clean water means no pathogens, and no disease means the fish lead a drug-free life
Sustainable Blue
I called Sustainable Blue Monday afternoon and was delighted to speak with David Roberts, the company's Production Director. David has worked in the private sector and with governments for over 29 years in the development of over 60 aquaculture and fisheries projects in 30 countries around the world. He has been with Sustainable Blue since 2007.
Mr. Roberts spoke with excitement about the company's first shipment last week, adding that current plans are for the production of 100 tonnes of salmon this year, with the possibility of expanding up to 150 tonnes or more by next year. It should be noted that the company's research shows there is a demand for 40,000 tonnes per year of land-farmed salmon in North America.
I asked Roberts about the use of antibiotics and specifically how the closed-circulation system worked to keep the salmon healthy. He explained the proprietary technology, stressing the saltwater the fish are raised in is first sterilised using ozone. This step provides a barrier between the farm and keeps fish safe from disease entering through this natural source.
Sustainable Blue
Fingerlings or young salmon from other sources are always isolated and tested for infection under the supervision of Canadian fish health authorities. This important step makes Sustainable Blue Farms a disease-free fish farm. Because the fish are free of infections, there is no need for antibiotics or chemicals, either.
Another interesting and innovative protocol in use by Sustainable Blue is waste management. Nothing is wasted, meaning everything is recycled. Organic waste is collected and stored on the farm, to later be transformed into fertiliser, and as a home gardener that used to raise good looking tomatoes and corn, fish waste is an excellent fertiliser.
When I asked Roberts about sharing the technology with other companies wanting to use their methods, say, like in the United States or elsewhere, he said there are plans to share their sustainable methods. What impressed me the most was the positive approach Sustainable Blue has taken in bringing their closed-containment aquaculture system to fruition.
New Brunswick Conservation Council member Matthew Abbott said that because it takes some effort to get these closed-containment aquaculture systems off the ground, it does take government support, and I agree with that assessment. As a matter of fact, Nova Scotia is set to release new aquaculture regulations next month, and hopefully, they will be such that aquaculture in Nova Scotia will be given the opportunity to thrive.
For those consumers looking to find some Sustainable Blue salmon at the market, CBC News says several places will either have it on the menu or for retail sale, including Le Caveau Restaurant in Wolfville, Pete's Frootique in Bedford and Halifax, and Evan's Fresh Seafoods at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth. Or if you can't find Sustainable Blue salmon at your market, you can place an order online by going to the company website.
More about Salmon farming, sustainable blue, proprietary technology, closedcontainmen t system, altantic salmon
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