new report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada says closed containment
technology for salmon aquaculture offers less potential for profit than
conventional open ocean net pens.
The report, from the fisheries
department’s aquaculture management directorate, says land-based pen
technology appears to be “marginally viable from a financial
perspective” and presents a higher level of financial risk for operators
compared to conventional net pens.
However the report recommends
that the department support pilot studies of closed containment. The
Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) and the T. Buck Suzuki
Foundation are hailing that recommendation as proof that closed
containment systems can be profitable at a commercial scale.
department’s conclusions are based on hypothetical economic modelling
which suggests that closed containment pens may be unprofitable when the
Canadian and U.S. dollars are at or close to par.
It says closed
containment technologies are projected to be considerably more
sensitive to market forces (e.g., exchange rate and market price) beyond
the operator’s control, and may likely prove non-profitable within a
range of variability that has actually been experienced by the Canadian
salmon aquaculture industry in the past.”