OTTAWA – AgriMarine, an innovative West Coast company specializing in sustainable aquaculture, announced yesterday that they have installed the first of four floating, commercial-scale closed containment salmon farming tanks.

“The successful launch of AgriMarine’s closed containment tank in Campbell River is a major step forward in creating a sustainable and responsible aquaculture industry in British Columbia,” says Fin Donnelly, New Democrat Fisheries and Oceans critic. “We have the potential to be leaders in closed containment aquaculture technology. The prospective jobs and economic opportunities are huge.”

The project received federal funding through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a not-for-profit foundation created by the federal government in 2001 to help build sustainable development technology in Canada.

“I was pleased to learn that SDTC provided grant money to the development of this venture; the federal government should be contributing to new and innovative aquaculture methods like this,” said Donnelly. “However, if we are serious about protecting wild salmon then we must move all open net operations to safe close containment; which means we need action from this Conservative government.”

In May, Donnelly introduced the Wild Salmon Protection Act, bill C-518, which would strengthen the Fisheries Act by moving harmful, open net fish farms to safe, closed containment systems.

“This installation proves the technology to move to closed containment now exists and is viable. Canadians want to see safe aquaculture which the market is now demanding,” said Donnelly. “I have received overwhelming support for my bill across the country. It is time for the Minister to amend the Fisheries Act and begin the transition to safe closed containment aquaculture in British Columbia.”