Local business plays role in innovative aquaculture system
BY ROBERT BARRON, DAILY NEWS MARCH 20, 2013
History was made on Monday when 24,000 young Atlantic salmon were delivered to Canada's first commercial pilot facility of a land-based, closed-containment aquaculture system that has been constructed near Port McNeill by the 'Namgis First Nation.
Nanaimo's PR Aqua Supplies, a world leader in the manufacture of equipment for the aquaculture industry, played an integral role in the establishment of the facility by providing almost all of the state-of-the-art equipment and technical expertise for the pilot project.
Jackie Hildering, a spokeswoman for the 'Namgis' Closed Containment Salmon Farm, said the first harvest is scheduled in about a year and the farm should be in continual production after that.
She said PR Aqua Supplies was chosen to provide its expertise and equipment to the project because the company meets all the technical requirements and was close to Port McNeill. KC Hosler, PR Aqua's chief technical officer, was not available for comment by press time.
"PR Aqua are seasoned aquaculture suppliers and the success of this pilot project would see a big boom for its business as well as the fish-farm industry on Vancouver Island," Hildering said.
Conservation and other groups have been advocating for years for the salmon farming industry to switch to landlocked, closed-containment systems from the open-pen systems currently operating along B.C.'s coasts.