Rob Moore, regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador and minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)(ACOA), has announced an investment of $110,000, through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF), that will allow Memorial University's Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) to enhance its capacity to respond to the needs of the provincial aquaculture industry.
The OSC will engage in Atlantic salmon aquaculture and climate change research to improve its ability to work with private sector partners and other industry stakeholders to collaborate and share research. New specialized machinery and equipment will allow the OSC to increase water temperatures and enhance seawater flow rates at its Logy Bay research facility.
“Our government recognizes that science, technology and innovation help make our businesses more productive and competitive, thereby increasing exports and creating new and better paying jobs,” said Mr. Moore. “By enhancing the aquaculture R&D capacity of the Ocean Sciences Centre at Memorial University, we are supporting the fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as rural communities throughout the province.”
Memorial has long been an active proponent of marine research and aquaculture research and development activity within the province. The OSC and its staff are recognized internationally for their ability to study cold-ocean organisms and for their contribution towards the development of various species that have the potential to become important to the province's aquaculture industry.
“This project will significantly enhance the OSC’s capacity to conduct world-class research that will benefit the aquaculture industry in Atlantic Canada, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s ability to manage and protect its commercially and ecologically important marine fish and invertebrate populations,” said Dr. Kurt Gamperl of Memorial’s Department of Ocean Sciences.
The funding will allow Memorial to purchase heat exchangers, sand filters, sterilization units and monitoring systems, which will enhance the research capacity at the OSC. The new equipment will allow the facility to focus its research on challenges facing the salmon aquaculture industry, such as fish health, broodstock development and environmental and production management, and explore how climate change may impact species currently cultured in the province.