Company offering a land-based salmon farm near Colpoy’s Bay to organize information sessions

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A Toronto-based company proposing to build a state-of-the-art, all-land-based salmon farm near Colpoy’s Bay will be holding two public information sessions in Wiarton this month.

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Georgian Bay Salmon, an offshoot of the Georgian Bay Innovation Group, has scheduled sessions on December 9 and 14 at the Wiarton Propeller Club from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

In a press release, the company said the public briefings will provide an overview of the project concept, describe the process of the Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) and inform the public about its environmental studies in the region.

The proposed 500,000 square foot salmon farm will produce 15,000 metric tonnes of non-GMO Atlantic salmon per year when fully operational, with 85,000 salmon eggs hatched each week, according to a press release.

The proposed one-storey installation for 83 Berford Lake Road. will be a world leader in terrestrial salmon production, said Gerry Sullivan, president of the company.

The proposed salmon farm has raised concerns from some members of the surrounding community. A citizen action group made up of local residents has created a website, sensesfishy.org, which says its members are concerned about the facility’s environmental impact, noise, pollution and odors.

“We fully understand, because this is a new project, and until we have the specific information to provide, there will be a lot of questions,” Sullivan said. “We just hope that they will take the time to listen to the information sessions about water studies. This is our number one priority.

Georgian Bay Salmon said in its press release that the success of its proposed facility hinges on a “game-changing” RAS system designed by AquaMaof. According to its website, the Israel-based and based company uses what it calls minimal liquid discharge (MLD) technology to reduce energy costs, ensure strict biosafety protocols, and enable full environmental control to eliminate use. antibiotics and chemicals in the process.

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AquaMaof claims its RAS process uses half the amount of carbon to produce 40 grams of edible protein than what is typically expected in the salmon industry and much less carbon than the beef and pork industries.

AquaMaof’s technology is used in fish production facilities in Newfoundland, Russia, Sweden and Japan.

Sullivan said the proposed Colpoy’s Bay fish farm would absorb 1,300 liters of water per minute with 1,100 liters per minute unloaded and 200 liters per minute lost through evaporation. The water would be recycled at 99.98 percent.

“It goes through a full water treatment center in the facility. That was the most interesting part about using AquaMaof, is that it looks like a big footprint when we do it, but 50% of the facility is actually a water treatment center. Sullivan said. “It’s basically about the quality of the drinking water when it comes out the other side. It is a pure system.

The AquaMaof system is gravity-based and modular, Sullivan said, reducing any risk resulting from potential mechanical failure. It is also monitored 365 days a year.

“When we look at the risk of mechanical failures with water treatment and things like that, we take a lot of the risk out there and reduce the amount of redundancy the way the system is designed,” a- he declared. “If we need to do a cleaning or a replacement, we have enough capacity to keep operating. “

He said the facility only uses 15% of its 200-acre plot and will not produce an odor.

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“It’s a big barn-like building, it’s just that we’re raising fish,” Sullivan said. “There is no smell. If you walked along the building, you wouldn’t smell any scent.

All fish processing will be done off-site by a third party, he said, and the inlet and outlet lines should be installed half a kilometer into the bay.

Sullivan said the efficiency of the system compared to other farming practices reduces the carbon footprint at a time when growing populations demand more fish.

He said the farm uses 50 liters of water per kilogram of feed, compared to other systems that use 300 liters of water per kilogram of feed. He said that 1.1 kilograms of food is used to produce one kilogram of fish protein.

“If you look at anything from chicken to beef, this is a very efficient feed conversion process. Being able to grow it on earth eliminates many of the environmental issues we are seeing right now, both operationally and from a global perspective, ”Sullivan said. “We don’t transport our fish from Norway or Chile to Toronto. We are a few hours away. We are very excited about the technology for this reason. He is an industry leader. They have successfully raised fish in the desert using this system.

Georgian Bay Salmon said the plan would create hundreds of jobs in the area with additional opportunities for vendors.

The project will require approvals from the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forests, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Business. rural areas, as well as the Saugeen Ojibway Nation.

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SON’s communications director, Kurt Kivell, said his environment office has contacted Georgian Bay Salmon and the two sides are in the early stages of their information gathering phase, but have yet to initiate a discussion. formal consultation.

“Therefore, no decision has been taken regarding the approval of this project. As we learn more, we will educate the members of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, ”Kivell said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) said an aquaculture license was issued to the company in April, but no further applications for it. authorization or approval had not been sought for the proposal.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Conservation and Parks said there were currently no applications being reviewed or issued to the company, but a pre-consultation meeting was held. held with the company in March during which “the ministry discussed laws, approval and consultation. responsibilities for such a project, including the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Permit to Take water and sewerage requirements ”.

Those wishing to attend the public information sessions are requested to register by email at

[email protected]

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