Aquaculture (the farming of fish, shellfish, algae and aquatic plants) is expected to account for more than half of all global seafood production by 2030. Despite Canada’s aquatic resources, seafood processing infrastructure and proximity to markets, Canada has not yet developed a significant aquaculture industry. Researchers are encouraged to develop research projects aimed at improving the production efficiency and environmental sustainability of the aquaculture industry.
Research within this topic will be limited to:
(1) Ecosystem Health / Environmental Interactions
Research is required to improve the understanding of the interaction of the culture organisms with and upon their environment. For example, research could focus on pest management, wild and farmed fish interactions, effects of harmful algae, disease interactions, ecosystem indicators and pathways of effects.
(2) Fish & Shellfish Health / Wellness
Healthy fish are indicative of a healthy environment and good husbandry conditions. Environmental conditions can vary widely in the variable climates associated with culture across Canada such that the physiological limits of the organisms can be tested at times in terms of performance. Movement away from inshore protected sites towards more dynamic open ocean conditions could lead to new pressures on the health of the cultured organisms. Effective methods of dealing with exposure to wild pathogens on species in aquaculture production will be required. There is a need to define the interactions of the farmed organisms in terms of health, environment, and to develop mitigation options for maintaining fish health.
(3) Technological Advances
There is an ongoing requirement to improve production technology for shellfish, finfish and seaweed farming to reduce environmental impacts, maintain or improve farmed organism health, to adapt to new and variable environments, and to maintain industry competitiveness in the global economy.
(4) Genetics and Husbandry
Farmed products require well developed broodstocks, adapted to the conditions in the environment. A thorough understanding of farmed animal production attributes through genomics and proteomics approaches is required to advance selective breeding programs to improve shellfish and fish performance for existing species, such as salmon, trout, mussels, oysters and for emerging species such as cod, sablefish, geoduck and abalone.
The Canadian capture fishing industry is large and diverse, with commercial operations off three marine coasts as well as in inland waters and exports about 80 percent of its production. Fishing operations are fuel cost sensitive, and recent months have placed a huge burden on their ability to produce products within the price envelopes that current market conditions will support. Research is needed to assist the industry maintain its competitiveness in an increasingly difficult business situation. Researchers are encouraged to augment current research or develop innovative new projects, directed at addressing the challenges and priority research areas identified by the capture fishing industry.
Research within this topic will be limited to:(1) Operational efficiency and technology development in the capture fishery
Research related to gear and/or methods adaptation to improve ecosystem sustainability could also be included, such as modifying gear to reduce bycatch and decrease the impact of fishing gears on benthic habitat and technology to facilitate fisheries monitoring and control.(2) Strategic Issues in Resource and Ecosystem Sustainability