Q & As

  1. Who is Cooke Aquaculture?
  2. What plans does Cooke Aquaculture have for Nova Scotia?
  3. Why do we need aquaculture in Atlantic Canada?
  4. What is the economic impact of aquaculture?
  5. What kind of employment opportunity is there in aquaculture?
  6. Some say the farms you have acquired in St. Mary’s Bay and the new sites in Jordan Bay take up too much space. How big are they?
  7. How can I be sure that your farms will not be harmful to the marine environment?
  8. Is it true that salmon farms result in the reduction of the lobster fishery? How can you guarantee this won’t happen in Southwest Nova Scotia?
  9. Environment Canada conducted an investigation into incidents where dead lobsters were found in the Bay of Fundy in 2009 and 2010, and into trace levels of cypermethrin that were found in both lobsters and farmed salmon. Cypermethrin is an agricultural pesticide that is not approved for use in marine environments in Canada. What does this mean?
  10. Are you getting any funding from the Province of Nova Scotia?
  11. What impact does aquaculture have on the existing lobster fishery?
  12. Why does Cooke Aquaculture/Kelly Cove Salmon need more salmon farms in Nova Scotia?
  13. How will aquaculture expansion impact whales that migrate off the Nova Scotia coast?
  14. The Inner Bay of Fundy wild salmon is endangered and Saint Mary’s Bay is in the migration path. Has Cooke done any research on the potential impact a salmon escape would have on the Inner Bay of Fundy wild salmon?
  15. Where is farmed seafood sold?
  16. What impact does salmon farming have on the environment?
  17. How much waste does a fish farm create?
  18. How much wild fish does it take to produce farmed salmon?
  19. Are antibiotics used in fish farming?
  20. What do you do with the pesticides in the pesticide baths when you are finished with them?
  21. Are farmed salmon dyed to get their pink colour?
  22. Do you grow genetically modified (GMO) salmon?
  23. Is it true that PCB levels in farmed salmon represent a significant health risk?
  24. Is farmed salmon healthy?
  25. What is ISA?
  26. Is ISA harmful to humans?
  27. How Does Cooke Aquaculture Manage ISA?
  28. Does ISA pose a threat fish species other than salmon?
  29. What is industry doing to manage or prevent ISA?
  30. Why can’t you farm salmon in tanks on land?

  1. Who is Cooke Aquaculture?
    Cooke Aquaculture is a family owned and managed company that has operated a sustainable aquaculture business in Atlantic Canada for over 25 years. The company owners, Glenn, Mike and Gifford Cooke have family roots in the area and in the seafood sector that go back five generations. With North American operations in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Maine, our focus is on creating a business that is environmentally sound, economically sustainable, and provides benefits for the communities in which we operate.↑ Return to top

  2. What plans does Cooke Aquaculture have for Nova Scotia?
    The company would like to add to its existing farming operations in Southwest Nova Scotia so that it can work in partnership with both levels of government to build a modern hatchery and processing facility in Southwest Nova and expand its feed mill in Truro. Specifically, we recently acquired two new farm licenses and purchased an existing farm in Digby County and have been granted two new licenses for Jordan Bay in Shelburne County. These investments, made in partnership with both levels of government, will lead to additional infrastructure projects and local jobs. In total, approximately 417 new direct jobs will be created in the province and an additional 797 indirect jobs, mostly in Southwest Nova, which means approximately $38 million in total payroll. The proposed salmon production expansion will also require the expansion of the Northeast Nutrition Inc. facility and operations in Truro. Northeast Nutrition Inc. is a feed mill and a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture and represents 30% of the total business out of the Port of Pictou. The construction of a second state-of-the-art complete extrusion line and increased raw ingredient receiving, storage, grinding, mixing and finished good warehousing capacity will support the feed production required for this expansion. It will result in the creation of 30 full time jobs at the Truro facility for a total of 81 employees.
    This expansion will also result in additional business opportunities for external logistic and warehousing providers in Pictou and Shelburne, Nova Scotia.↑ Return to top

  3. Why do we need aquaculture in Atlantic Canada?
    Half of the seafood that people eat in the world today comes from a farm. Even a healthy fishery will not be able to meet the growing demand for healthy seafood. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization predicts a 50-80 million tonne seafood shortfall by 2030 without aquaculture. Aquaculture has become a worldwide industry and takes place in every Canadian province and the Yukon. Nova Scotia is an ideal place for farming fish because it has a rich tradition in fisheries and seafood production. The miles of coastline, the clean Atlantic waters and the unique ecosystem of the Bay of Fundy offer the opportunity to further develop a strong, healthy and responsible industry here so that our people can buy fresh fish that is farmed in local waters by local people.↑ Return to top

  4. What is the economic impact of aquaculture?
    In Canada, aquaculture is a $2 billion industry providing not only good, direct jobs but also contributing to the economy through spin-offs and indirect jobs. Cooke Aquaculture generates nearly $570 million in annual revenue, most coming from its Atlantic Canadian operations. We have brought direct jobs and spin-offs to communities throughout Atlantic Canada, like St. George NB and Harbour Breton NL and we want to do the same in Nova Scotia by expanding our business investments there.↑ Return to top

  5. What kind of employment opportunity is there in aquaculture?
    Aquaculture offers employment opportunities on ocean farms, freshwater hatcheries, in net and cage building and maintenance shops, processing plants, offices, labs as well as in maintenance, trucking and many other supply and service areas. Whether you want to work behind a desk or on a boat, aquaculture can give you that opportunity. Much of Canada’s aquaculture workforce is young – most workers are under 40. Aquaculture gives our young people a chance to build careers and raise families right here at home. Where possible, we employ and train local people.↑ Return to top

  6. Some say the farms you have acquired in St. Mary’s Bay and the new sites in Jordan Bay take up too much space. How big are they?
    Regulations require us to apply for enough space to include the outside navigation markers, which makes it appear that the farm sites on the applications take up far more space than they actually do. If you look at the aerial pictures of St. Mary’s Bay below that show the location of the new farm sites, you will see that they only occupy a small footprint in the Bay. In fact, the combined footprint of both grids only occupy 20.5% of the total area leased, or 21.3 acres. The total percentage of St. Mary’s Bay area that the new lease areas occupy is 0.165%. The total percentage of St. Mary’s Bay that the actual grids occupy is even less: 0.017% of the Bay. To put the footprint of the proposed sites in St. Mary’s Bay and Jordan Bay into perspective, consider the following numbers and images:

    St. Mary’s Bay


    The rectangles in the above photo show total required lease area for the two sites in St. Mary’s Bay (total: 84.24 Hectares / 209.6 acres or 0.165% of St. Mary’s Bay).


    The white spots on the picture above represent the actual area that are being occupied by aquaculture grids in St. Mary’s Bay. These amount to 8.64 Hectares / 21.35 acres or 0.017% of St. Mary’s Bay.

    Jordan Bay


    The rectangles in the above photo show total required lease area for the two sites in Jordan Bay (total: 80 hectares / 197.68 acres or 2.162% of Jordan Bay).


    The white spots on the picture above represent the actual area that would be occupied by proposed aquaculture grids in Jordan Bay. These amount to 17.28 hectares / 42.7 acres or 0.467% of Jordan Bay.

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  7. How can I be sure that your farms will not be harmful to the marine environment?
    Each farm is monitored on a regular basis for environmental impact. We have a vested interest in maintaining a healthy farm environment to grow healthy fish. That is why we use underwater cameras to monitor feeding and why our fish are fed diets that were designed to be easily and efficiently digested so that most of the energy is used for growth and waste is minimized. Because salmon are cold blooded, they are far better at converting feed to energy than other farmed animals and humans. We comply with regulations for routine ocean floor sampling and take underwater videos that lead to an annual environmental rating of each farm. We are open to partnering with communities on research projects to evaluate the health of a particular cove or bay and our potential impact. Many of our farms coexist with important tourism activities. For example our farm in St. Margaret’s Bay in NS has operated for many years near a pristine white sand beach.
    The photo above shows Bayswater Beach in St. Margaret’s Bay, NS. The Cooke farm in this area is barely visible in the center of this photo and has not affected traffic at this popular summer destination.We are also investing in innovative farming techniques to further minimize our impact. Together with scientists from the University of New Brunswick and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, we have become industry leaders in the development of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture or IMTA, an ecosystem based approach to farming that considers nutrients that are produced by the salmon farm as a benefit – something that can be used to feed extractive species like mussels and seaweeds. We are working with government to make sure that Nova Scotia’s regulations support this farming approach so that we can expand our IMTA program to our farms there.↑ Return to top

  8. Is it true that salmon farms result in the reduction of the lobster fishery? How can you guarantee this won’t happen in Southwest Nova Scotia?
    We are partners on the same working waterfront with the fishery and we work towards a healthy and successful seafood sector. Salmon farming has coexisted with the lobster fishery in New Brunswick for the past 30 years. During that time lobster landings have increased by 300 to 600 percent. In fact, lobster fisherman often set their traps around farms which provide habitat for lobster. Studies have concluded that the salmon farming industry has little or no effect on traditional fisheries:

    • A scientific review of the potential environmental effects of aquaculture in aquatic ecosystems conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 2003 suggested that salmon farms might act as a refuge for lobsters. It also suggests that moderate increases in organic matter supply may stimulate macro fauna production and increase species diversity.
    • A 2006 study examined the possible causes for the increase in lobster landings in Fortune Bay, Newfoundland. It found that the nutrient enrichment from aquaculture grow-out sites probably contributed to higher primary productivity, which may have contributed to the higher survival of lobster larvae in the area.
    • A 2005 study examined the relationship between aquaculture and lobster landings in Atlantic Canada and found that lobster landings are at all time highs, particularly in areas where aquaculture is established. They also found that lobster avoid fish feed pellets, which is contrary to the belief that salmon farms “bait” lobsters away from the commercial lobster traps. These researchers concluded that there is little evidence of long-term deleterious impacts of aquaculture farms on lobster habitat.

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  9. Environment Canada conducted an investigation into incidents where dead lobsters were found in the Bay of Fundy in 2009 and 2010, and into trace levels of cypermethrin that were found in both lobsters and farmed salmon. Cypermethrin is an agricultural pesticide that is not approved for use in marine environments in Canada. What does this mean?
    Cooke Aquaculture cooperated fully with an industry-wide investigation since 2009; many samples have been taken from our fish, our farms and from farms belonging to other companies. On November 1, 2011 EC laid 11 charges against our company under Section 36 of the Fisheries Act alleging the unlawful deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish. Because this matter is before the courts we cannot comment on the specific allegations.We can assure our customers that our products continue to be healthy and safe, thanks to a rigorous system of internal and external audits. There are many regulatory and non-regulatory safeguards in place to make sure that all salmon products that leave our plants have been audited for therapeutant use and have met all the regulated withdrawal times. We have many internal and external procedures, reviews and audits that are conducted on a regular basis (monthly, annually, etc.) by many different levels of government and government departments, by professional third party certification auditors and by our customers. This means that our salmon is not only fresh, healthy and nutritious but also safe. The people at Cooke Aquaculture take pride in our high quality products, in our standard operating procedures and our industry-leading best practices. We are committed to health, science and safety; to sustainable operations; and to the well being of our products, our people, our communities and the industry in Atlantic Canada.↑ Return to top

  10. Are you getting any funding from the Province of Nova Scotia?
    On June 21, 2012, the Province of Nova Scotia invested $25-million to Cooke’s expansion plans in Nova Scotia.The provincial investment includes a $16-million interest-bearing loan and a $9-million forgivable loan through the Nova Scotia Jobs Fund and jobsHere. Four million dollars of the $16-million interest-bearing loan can be forgiven based on research, development, and commercialization of innovation in the aquaculture industry, helping it maintain stability in the long term. Cooke also plans to invest $150 million in the expansion, which is already underway.↑ Return to top

  11. What impact does aquaculture have on the existing lobster fishery?
    There have been many studies and a lot of work conducted on the relationship between lobster fisheries and aquaculture. The results show that lobster and other fisheries can and do thrive alongside aquaculture in a shared working waterfront. While salmon cages do take up space in the ocean, there is no evidence that overall fish landings have gone down as a result of their presence. Well-run farms can often serve as sanctuaries and habitat for certain species. In many cases fishermen report higher catches after salmon farms begin operating in an area. Our company has been farming salmon in New Brunswick for over 25 years and the lobster fishery continues to experience record catches. We will continue to work with local fishermen as we choose site locations and run our farms.↑ Return to top

  12. Why does Cooke Aquaculture/Kelly Cove Salmon need more salmon farms in Nova Scotia?
    Additional sites will give us the ability to fallow farm sites, to rotate crops and to properly implement a bay management approach to farming. It will also give us the foundation for investment in a processing facility in the province. We have committed to investing in all areas of our business – hatcheries, processing and supply and service – but we have to have the farms and production numbers to justify those investments.↑ Return to top

  13. How will aquaculture expansion impact whales that migrate off the Nova Scotia coast?
    Aquaculture in Atlantic Canada is not a threat to whale populations. We strive to ensure that our salmon farms are not sited in areas on the normal whale migration routes. In fact, the greatest threats to the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale are ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. Our crews have helped to free whales from entanglements in fishing gear on many occasions. We are interested in participating in the tourism industry by equipping tourism operators with good information and support boat tours that offer insight into the Maritime economy and way of life.↑ Return to top

  14. The Inner Bay of Fundy wild salmon is endangered and Saint Mary’s Bay is in the migration path. Has Cooke done any research on the potential impact a salmon escape would have on the Inner Bay of Fundy wild salmon? As a company, and as individuals, we are partners in various critical salmon conservation projects as well as in larger scale international initiatives. Ocean farming allows us to deliver fresh Atlantic salmon to markets and restaurants year round at a price that families can afford while reducing pressure on wild salmon fisheries. By employing sustainable farming measures on our farms and supporting conservation initiatives we, and others, believe salmon farming has a positive effect on our important wild salmon resource.INNER BAY OF FUNDY CONSERVATION PROJECT
    Cooke has been a partner in the Inner Bay of Fundy Salmon (iBoF) Conservation Project, which was designed to assist in the rehabilitation of wild salmon stocks in the Bay of Fundy. This collaboration between the industry association and two of its members – Admiral Fish Farms and Kelly Cove Salmon / Cooke Aquaculture along with Parks Canada / Fundy National Park received funding support through an Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP) grant from DFO. As part of the recovery plan for the iBoF salmon stock, Fundy National Park employees captured smolt as they left the Park’s rivers for the sea and moved them to a freshwater facility for growout. The mature salmon were then used in breeding programs and/or released into their native waters.ACTIVE WITH NASCO
    The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) NASCO is an inter-governmental organization devoted to conserving wild salmon. In 2001, the North Atlantic Salmon Farming Industry and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), recognizing the importance of conserving and enhancing wild salmon stocks and of supporting a sustainable salmon farming industry, agreed to the establishment of guiding principles for cooperation. The objective of the Liaison Group was to establish mutually beneficial working arrangements in order to make recommendations on wild salmon conservation and sustainable salmon farming practices, to maximize potential benefits and to minimize potential risks to both. This has led to the development of Guidelines for Containment of Farmed Salmon and Best Management Practices for both Containment and Sea Lice Management. More information can be found at: http://www.nasco.int/liaison.html Cooke management has been actively engaged in this collaborative work with NASCO which has been considered in the development of the company’s Standard Operating Procedures.

    INDUSTRY-LEADING CONTAINMENT
    GMG, Cooke’s equipment manufacturing and maintenance division employs industry leading techniques to ensure that our salmon remain on the farm and a team of in-house veterinarians and biologists are responsible for the health of our farm animals. Cooke employs industry-leading standards in equipment and personnel training to minimize the risk of escapement.

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  15. Where is farmed seafood sold?
    We sell about 60 percent of our farmed seafood to the United States and 40 percent in Canada. Our products are sold in Atlantic Canada under the True North Salmon label at major food stores. You can also purchase our fresh, eco-label farmed salmon at Mike’s Fish Shop in Halifax or at the Halifax Farmers’ Market.↑ Return to top

  16. What impact does salmon farming have on the environment?
    Modern salmon farming is designed to minimize waste, and has a low impact on the environment. Our regulated environmental monitoring programs are based on routine sampling of the ocean floor and underwater videos. Experts in our Truro based feed division have developed feed recipes that are easily digested by our salmon, thereby reducing waste while underwater cameras and trained feeding technicians make sure the salmon are fed only when they are hungry so that feed (which is one of our greatest costs) is not wasted. In addition to compliance with strict government regulations, many of Cooke Aquaculture facilities are certified to the internationally recognized Seafood Trust CQS/Eco Label – an assurance of quality, freshness and environmental performance.↑ Return to top

  17. How much waste does a fish farm create?
    In order to assess the amount of waste that is produced by Atlantic salmon farms you need to understand the source of nutrient waste. The amount and relative composition of fish feces is determined by the indigestible components of the diet. What is eaten but not digested will become feces. Our fish are fed diets that were designed to be easily and efficiently digested so that most of the energy is used for growth and waste is minimized. In fact, salmon, which are cold blooded, are far better at converting feed to energy than other farmed animals and humans. It is estimated that due to better diets, underwater cameras and new feeding technologies, feed wastage is routinely well below 5%. When we grow a 5kg fish with a 1.1:1 Feed Conversion Ration (FCR) we would feed it approximately 5.5kg of feed over its lifetime and it would excrete feces in the amount of 0.8195kg.Just like nutrients from the feces of wild fish, nutrients created by a salmon farm can be used by other species such as urchins, seaweeds and mussels. By carefully siting our farms in areas of good current flow and by fallowing them between crops, we are able to minimize the overloading or impact of these nutrients.Together with scientists from the University of New Brunswick and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, we have become industry leaders in the development of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture or IMTA, an ecosystem based approach to farming that considers nutrients that are produced by the salmon farm as a benefit – something that can be used to feed extractive species like mussels and seaweeds. We are working with government to make sure that Nova Scotia’s regulations support this farming approach so that we can expand our IMTA program to our farms there.Comparisons between ‘fish waste’, ‘municipal wastewater effluent’ and ‘agriculture manure’ are sometimes made but they are not appropriate. While phosphorus, carbon and nitrogen will be created by all of these sources, Salmonids do not produce fecal coliform bacteria as do mammals and birds. Municipal wastewater effluent also contains about 200 identified chemicals, some of which are persistent; the concentrations are dependent on the regional level of treatment and whether storm sewers are connected to sanitary sewers or discharged directly to receiving waters.↑ Return to top

  18. How much wild fish does it take to produce farmed salmon?
    It takes much less than one pound of wild fish to produce one pound of farmed salmon. Our salmon eat a healthy mix of fish, animal and vegetable proteins and the recipe is what gives them such high levels of heart healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. We now use less than 20% fish products in our feed. Most of that wild fish comes from by-products from existing fisheries – parts of the fish that would not be used for human consumption. When wild-caught ingredients are needed for high quality fish oil they are sourced from sustainable, well-managed fisheries. We have an ongoing internal R&D program to find feed ingredients to replace fish while still providing our salmon with the necessary nutrition to grow and remain healthy and continue to provide excellent nutrition to the people who eat our fish.↑ Return to top

  19. Are antibiotics used in fish farming?
    Antibiotics are only used if required and prescribed by a veterinarian. We stock our farms with healthy fish from our world-class hatcheries and rely on good husbandry practices and preventative measures like bay management, crop rotation and fallowing. Our use of antibiotics is much lower than in land-based animal farming. There are many farms where we have not used antibiotics for the entire life cycle of the fish that are raised there. A strictly regulated withdrawal period ensures that there are no antibiotic residues before fish are sold to consumers. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for monitoring food safety and conducts spot audits on farmed fish for the presence of drug residues.↑ Return to top

  20. Why do you use pesticides and what do you do with the pesticide baths when you are finished with them?
    Pesticide baths are one of the tools that we use to treat our fish for sea lice. Cooke sites in NS have never been treated for sea lice. However, if treatments were deemed to be appropriate by our veterinarian, a full tarp or well boat would be used for contained bath treatments. The active ingredient or pesticide is diluted to very small concentrations (parts per billion) before water is either pumped out of the well boat or the full tarp is removed. Pesticide usage is monitored closely by provincial veterinarians and the Federal Departments of Fisheries and Oceans, the Department of Environment and the Department of Health. Additionally, Cooke is conducting extensive R&D projects to develop green solutions for managing parasites. For example, cleaner fish, or fish that eat sea lice, are used successfully in other jurisdictions. A science experiment that explores the possibility of placing Cunner fish in our salmon cages to act as “cleaner fish” holds great promise. We have been working with a fishing company from the Digby as a supplier of Cunner fish. Cooke has also invested millions of dollars in wellboat technology and now has two vessels that are available for contained sea lice treatments in areas where sea lice occur.↑ Return to top

  21. Are farmed salmon dyed to get their pink colour?
    No, farmed salmon are not fed dyes. Wild salmon get their orange-to-red colour from carotenoids, which come from the crustaceans (shrimp) or other small fish that they consume. There are many carotenoids in the foods we eat like carrots and egg yolks. Our farmed salmon get their colour from two carotenoids, astaxanthin and canthaxinthin, which are identical to the naturally occurring carotenoids that give wild fish their colour. The use of these carotenoids is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.↑ Return to top

  22. Do you grow genetically modified (GMO) salmon?
    No. Cooke Aquaculture does not use growth hormones, produce or sell genetically modified or transgenic salmon. Our position on the commercial production of transgenic or genetically modified fish is consistent with that of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance(CAIA) and the International Salmon Farmers Association (ISFA).↑ Return to top

  23. Is it true that PCB levels in farmed salmon represent a significant health risk?
    No. Farmed salmon is a healthy and nutritious food that offers health benefits for people of all ages. Salmon is one of the best sources of DHA and EPA Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a healthy source of high quality protein, rich in vitamins and minerals, and is very low in saturated fat. Harvard researchers report that they found that the benefits of eating fish far outweigh any risks of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and dioxins. The levels of PCBs and dioxins in fish species are low when compared to other commonly consumed foods such as beef, chicken, pork, eggs, and butter. Furthermore, only approximately 9% of the PCBs and dioxins in today’s food supply come from fish and other seafood; more than 90% comes from other foods such as meats, vegetables, and dairy products. *At Cooke Aquaculture we have had a certified lab test our salmon for contaminants. The results show that our salmon consistently test far below not only the limits set by regulatory bodies but also those recorded in the following table as industry average amounts.*Source: http://www.aquaculture.ca/files/health-salmon.php↑ Return to top

  24. Is farmed salmon healthy?
    Yes, it is not only healthy; it is extremely nutritious. Because farmed salmon is high in protein and essential fatty acids, nutritionists often point to the many health benefits of eating both farmed and wild salmon. We regularly send our salmon to an independent lab to test for a variety of contaminants and the results are consistently well below the allowable levels set by government regulators and the Environmental Defense Fund.↑ Return to top

  25. What is ISA?
    Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) is naturally occurring and spreads slowly. ISA is present in wild fish in many parts of the world, including eastern Canada and the United States. While ISA is harmful to salmon, it poses no risks to human health. Our fish are safe to eat and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency agrees.↑ Return to top

  26. Is ISA harmful to humans?
    No. While ISA is harmful to salmon, it poses no risks to human health. ISA affects ectothermic or cold-blooded animals only.↑ Return to top

  27. How Does Cooke Aquaculture Manage ISA?Cooke Aquaculture relies on in-house veterinarians, biologists and oceanographic specialists and Provincial and Federal veterinarians and regulators for advice and oversight on our everyday farming practices. We follow innovative farming techniques such as area management, crop rotation, fallowing of farms between crops and strict bio-security protocols to keep fish healthy until they are ready for harvest. If we suspect the presence of ISA we take preventative measures, like culling a pen (or cage).↑ Return to top

  28. Does ISA pose a threat fish species other than salmon?
    No, ISA poses no known threat to other fish species such as lobster, herring or cod.↑ Return to top

  29. What is industry doing to manage or prevent ISA?
    Evidence of ISA has existed in the wild fishery on the east coast for over 100 years. Since 1996 when ISA was first identified on New Brunswick salmon farms, farmers have worked with scientists, veterinarians and government to manage and prevent spreading.↑ Return to top

  30. Why can’t you farm salmon in tanks on land?
    We already know how much it costs to grow salmon from egg to plate. We have been doing this for more than 25 years. We grow a small number of our fish, our broodstock or parent fish, on land for their entire life cycle. The cost is prohibitive and could not be sustained for all of our production. We only do this to protect our select broodstock for future generations.Farming salmon in tanks on land for their entire life cycle would create new environmental issues. Our salmon flourish in their natural ocean environment and are cared for by a team of veterinarians, biologists, fish behaviorists, feed specialists and experienced farm managers. We are supported by world-class scientists from institutions such as the Atlantic Veterinary College, the Huntsman Marine Science Center, the University of New Brunswick, the St. Andrews Biological Station, the National Research Council and Dalhousie University. Land-based farming would pose many new problems including the environmental impact and energy cost of pumping huge amounts of water and the clearing of vast amounts of land. In addition to the high cost, land-based salmon farming would mean heavier stocking densities that would lead to health and animal welfare issues.↑ Return to top