Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Assessing the viability of commercial-scale closed containment systems

Chief Bill Cranmer at the 'Namgis First Nation closed containment salmon farm

Living Oceans and our partners in CAAR are working to assess the viability of commercial-scale closed containment systems to grow Atlantic salmon.

We want salmon farming to transition to closed containment technology as a solution to many of the harmful effects from open net-cages. The industry, however, is reluctant to make the change, claiming the new technology is not economically viable. The only way to find out for sure is by comparing all of the costs and benefits of open net-cage systems with closed containment systems.

Living Oceans Society and CAAR commissioned a unique economic study that compares operational costs of the two systems and levels the playing field by putting a dollar value on current 'externalized costs' such as waste disposal. At present, open net-cage systems dispose of their waste feed and feces by releasing them into the ocean. The 'cost' is borne by the ecosystem, not the corporations. Previous studies have ignored these externalized costs. An independent consultant was hired to help identify any barriers and possible solutions to cost-effective, commercial-scale closed containment salmon farms.