Greig Seafood BC Ltd.’s Gold River Hatchery project will see its salmon spend more time on land with the completion of a new project.
The $24.74 million project will feature six tanks housed within a building. Each is 3.5 metres deep and 11 metres across and holds about 326,000 litres of water. They will be adding water to the tanks and creating the necessary bacteria and water conditions for the salmon to grow.
They say the system will be able to support four million smolts (a stage in which salmon adapt to saltwater as they mature). They will be able to stay in the tanks until they hit a weight of 1 kilogram.
Greig says the system is part of their goal to move more farms on land.
“In total, the project represents an investment of over $25 million and the creation of almost 60 full-time site positions at the peak of construction,” said the company in a release. “The new facility will effectively double our smolt capacity at our hatchery and allow us to start to explore keeping our fish in the hatchery for longer which will reduce the time required in the ocean, known as post-smolt farming.”
They add allowing the fish to grow to larger than 100 grams before adding them to the ocean reduces the amount of time wild and farmed salmon can interact.
With water added and biofilters installed, the project is nearing completion and fish are expected to be added to the tanks in April.
The company says they would like to continue with projects like these in the future and move towards a transition in the industry.
“We are hoping that by working with local Nations, the provincial government, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans we will be able to help define what a transition for the industry will look like, and how we can look to invest and grow in that direction once we have industry stability, which will be required for any type of further investment in our operations,” they said.