Atlantic Innovation Fund Project 2002

ARDF TanksAtlantic Innovation Fund Project 2002
Ocean Sciences Centre

Scientists at the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) have been conducting aquaculture research to support the development and commercialization efforts of our industry partners over the last number of years. The long-term track record of the OSC and its industry partners, and the ability to conduct research through AquaNet (a nation wide Network of Centres of Excellence), positions us to do the research needed to bring cod and halibut aquaculture to commercialization.

The major research focus will be on Atlantic cod, consistent with the industry wide strategic plan developed by the Newfoundland Industry Aquaculture Association (NAIA). Atlantic halibut research is important to companies in the Atlantic Provinces. The project will be a cooperative effort between the OSC and all its industry partners. Hatchery production will take place at the Aquaculture Research Development Facility (ARDF) of the OSC while on-growing work will take place at a demonstration cage site in close proximity to our partners commercial site.

Research and development projects that will result in a solid framework upon which the commercial partners can develop a viable industry.

The primary objective of the proposal is to enhance the establishment of a commercial Atlantic cod aquaculture industry and to maintain an existing Atlantic halibut broodstock program. In achieving this goal, this project will develop the ability and capacity to conduct innovative aquaculture R&D, build linkages with the private sector and specialized centres in Atlantic Canada. We anticipate to increase our research activities and train a needed workforce to enter the industry in specialized areas such as broodstock management, live feed production, larviculture, animal husbandry, cage on-growing and fish health. Given the level of expertise available in Newfoundland and Labrador, and throughout Atlantic Canada, all stages of cod from egg to plate and halibut broodstock development will be investigated with our main objective to produce a high quality and cost effective aquaculture product. The potential employment which could be created by a viable cod aquaculture industry is high. We simply need to overcome the bottlenecks and dedicate research and industry personnel in finding technical solutions. This can now be a reality with support from the AIF and the private sectors. Demonstrated success would likely trigger significant private sector investment to expand the industry.

Project Operational Description
Cage grow-out to harvest has not yet been achieved for hatchery reared fish in Newfoundland. The first hatchery juveniles were put into cages in the fall of 2001. Research with Atlantic cod will address problems related to broodstock, stock selection, juvenile growth, stocking density, on-growing at cage sites, early maturation, feeding periodicity, fish health and disease. Research with Atlantic halibut will focus on broodstock issues.

Major Activities
Therefore, the overall strategy of our proposal is to firstly address immediate production concerns and secondly to produce and test juveniles from selected broodstocks under commercial production systems. This efficiently combines short and long- term challenges in cod (#1-8) and halibut (#9-10) aquaculture. Below is the AIF work plan and schedule which will focus on the some of following projects.

  1. Optimal transfer size of weaned juveniles to sea cages: 1-3 years.
  2. Stocking density, feeding frequencies, feed ration analysis and physiological parameters: 1-3 years.
  3. Maturation of fish in cages and development of protocols to address problem 3-4 years
  4. Site analysis and environment: 2-3 years.
  5. Development of cost-effective, cage on-growing methods: 3-4 years.
  6. Reduced health problems through effective and environmentally friendly methods and treatments: 3-5 years.
  7. Cage trials of juveniles from photo manipulated broodstock: 2-4 years
  8. Cage trials of juveniles from superior strains of broodstock: 3-5 years
  9. Secure and expand our domesticated halibut broodstock 1-5 years
  10. Provide halibut eggs to industry partners. 1-5 years


Ocean Sciences

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000