Fish being stocked in Cermaq's semi-closed containment system in Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island, last December. The company has been given $752,000 towards the cost of the system. Photo: Cermaq Canada.

Cermaq and Mowi get state technology handouts

Salmon farmers Cermaq Canada and Mowi Canada West have been granted more than Can $1 million between them under a scheme to fund clean technology projects for fisheries and aquaculture in British Columbia.

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Cermaq was given $752,247 towards the cost of its semi-closed containment system installed in Clayoquot Sound.

Mowi was granted $305,169 to support the installation of an emissions-free solar power system at its Dalrymple Salmon Hatchery.

$5.4m package

The grants were part of a $5.4m funding package for 36 projects announced last night by federal government minister Terry Beech, on behalf of fisheries and oceans minister Bernadette Jordan. The province of British Columbia contributed a further $785,000.

Other grants included $384,000 for Cargill-owned aquafeed producer EWOS Canada to invest in a new wastewater treatment and recycling system that will reduce waste discharge and water consumption at its plant in Surrey, Vancouver.

Organic sturgeon farmer Northern Divine Aquafarms Ltd, of Sechelt, BC was granted $69,227 to support the installation of a solar-powered composting system to process fish waste, eliminating groundwater pollution, reducing waste and the need to transport waste offsite. The company also supplies coho salmon ova.

‘Helping our partners’

Jordan, whose decision to close 19 salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in BC is likely to cost up to 1,500 jobs, said: “Through the Fisheries and Aquaculture Clean Technology Adoption Program we’re helping our partners in British Columbia implement more sustainable practices, and therefore become more competitive in their markets.

“These are good, long-term investments that will help Canada’s seafood sector employ more people and generate more revenue for decades to come.”

Beech said the grants showed that the government “is working with industry to ensure their business is sustainable and productive”.

Mowi, Cermaq and two other salmon farmers – Grieg Seafood BC and Saltstream – have applied for a judicial review of Jordan’s decision to close the Discovery Islands farms by June 2022.

On Monday, Mowi and Saltstream were granted an injunction allowing them to continue stocking fish at three Discovery Islands sites – two operated by Mowi and one by Saltstream. The injunction overturned Jordan’s ruling that no more fish could be stocked in the sites.