Cermaq Canada doubles down on semi-closed cage system, sets stage for phase 2 of trial

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Cermaq Canada is committed to seeing a new semi-closed containment system (SCCS) work for its operations as authorities begin the process of transitioning British Columbia’s farmed salmon industry away from open-net cages.

The new technology, called Certus, is an import from Norway but it has been tweaked to fit BC’s environment. Adjustments were also made based on knowledge gleaned from the first phase of the trial that started in late 2020. For instance, the company said it engineered a water quality solution after a technical fault reduced water quality, resulting in fish mortality.

Phase 2 will begin in the next two weeks at Cermaq’s site in Millar channel, in Ahousaht Territory, where the first trial also took place.

“Fish will be entered at approximately 90g coming from the freshwater hatchery to the SCCS,” Cermaq Canada told SalmonBusiness via email. “The trial will last until spring/summer of next year.”

The semi-closed nature of the cage limits interaction with wild populations, making it an appealing option in BC and the rest of Canada.

“We learned that innovation takes time and an openness to learn from challenges as they present themselves. We feel this technology definitely has a place in our operations in British Columbia,” Cermaq Canada managing director David Kiemele told SalmonBusiness.