Greener farm tech enables Cermaq to slash emissions

Salmon farmer Cermaq Canada reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 76 tonnes last year by using a new fish farm aeration technology now also being trialled in Scotland.

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The reduction in emissions was the result of Cermaq trialling Poseidon Ocean System’s Flowpressor aeration compressor systems at two of Cermaq’s 16 operational farm sites in British Columbia.

The Flowpressor is also currently being trialled with Scotland’s second biggest salmon farmer, Scottish Sea Farms, which said it was pleased with results so far.

60% reduction in GHGs

Cermaq’s trial took place at the Simmonds Point and Wehlis Bay farms from May to November 2021, using Flowpressors instead of conventional diesel compressors to power the fish farmer’s standard systems to mitigate harmful algal blooms (HABs).

HABs in British Columbia can be intense, with as many as 1.5-2 million cells per litre of algae compared to 50 to 1,000 in Scottish waters.

“The trial demonstrated the viability of the Flowpressor technology to power our existing conventional bloom mitigation equipment, while producing 60% less greenhouse gas emissions. The overall result is that we have slashed emissions and dramatically reduced our fuel costs while improving overall performance of the mitigation system,” said Brock Thomson, Cermaq Canada’s innovation director.

Matt Clarke: "We’re thrilled with the results of the trial." Photo: Poseidon.

Delivered as promised

Matt Clarke, chief executive and co-founder of Poseidon Ocean Systems, said: “We’re thrilled with the results of the trial. When we developed this technology we projected a 60% reduction in emissions while also improving the performance of their aeration systems, but I think it was fair for customers to be a bit sceptical of those claims. Now that we’ve delivered as promised, we couldn’t be happier. This is a result our engineering team can be very proud of.”

Poseidon’s Flowpressor technology was the recipient of Innovate BC’s first-ever Aquaculture Innovation Award in 2021, and based on that success, Poseidon was awarded a BC Fast Pilot Program grant of more than $180,000 to develop an oxygen-generating variant of Flowpressor, dubbed Oxypressor, which will be trialled at a Cermaq site early this year.

At the leading edge

“Cermaq Canada has been at the leading edge of life support systems development globally, as you can see with their extensive use of highly efficient oxygenation systems as well as advanced aeration systems and their trials with floating closed containment systems (at its Millar Channel site, Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island). They really deserve full credit for being the first to deploy Flowpressors on fully operational salmon farms,” said Clarke, whose aquaculture experience includes working as head of engineering for Mowi Canada West.

“We expect that Poseidon can help Cermaq achieve the accomplishment of having the greenest life-support systems in the world.”