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The semi-closed containment system goes on trial in BC. Photo: Cermaq Canada
The semi-closed containment system goes on trial in BC. Photo: Cermaq Canada

Cermaq Canada’s trial semi-closed containment system is now in the water at its British Columbia operations, with the first fish due to be stocked in November.

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Components for the new style cage, designed and built by FiiZK in Norway, arrived in Canada in June and were assembled on shore before being transferred to Cermaq’s Millar Channel farm site in Clayoquot Sound, off Vancouver Island.

The trial farm, the first such technology to be deployed outside Norway, could, if successful, operate alongside the company’s existing farms, said Cermaq, which has already tested the system in Norway, growing fish up to 1kg.

The Mitsubishi owned salmon farmer said on its Facebook page that the transfer of the structure from land to sea took just over six hours and went without a hitch.

Since arriving at the site at the end of August, work has been going on to anchor the farm and further commission the SCCS (semi-closed containment system).

Intakes

The technology encompasses a fully enclosed lining or bag, with water pumped in through four screened sea water intakes, and exiting the bag through 12 deep screened ports.

Cermaq said: ‘In the coming weeks, we can expect a flurry of activity as we anticipate having the deep ocean intakes, inner bag lining, outer net and all life support systems installed, tested and completed by mid to late October.

‘A new support barge to house the necessary electrical and oxygen generation equipment has been built and should arrive at the site shortly.

‘We remain on track for the stocking of the site, planned for early to mid-November, and then can begin the two-year trial process to investigate how the new system performs in our waters, and how our fish react to this new system.’

Salmon farmers in BC have been told to phase out open net pen production by 2025 following an election pledge last year by Justin Trudeau. Closed containment systems are one of the permitted alternatives.

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