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NSERC Award Presented to Aquaculture Project

CANADA - An innovative approach for making the worlds aquaculture industry more sustainable and profitable has seen a team of scientists and industry recognized with the 2008 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Synergy Award.

The Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) research project, co-led by Drs. Thierry Chopin (University of New Brunswick Saint John) and Shawn Robinson (Fisheries and Oceans Canada St. Andrews Biological Station), with industry partners Cooke Aquaculture Inc. and Acadian Seaplants Limited have received this national award for their innovative research in the Bay of Fundy, writes Dan Tanaka. The award includes a $200,000 research grant and the opportunity to hire an industrial research and development fellow for two years for each industry partner.

IMTA is rooted in an age-old, common sense, recycling and farming practice in which the by-products from one species become nutritional inputs for another: fed aquaculture (e.g. finfish) is combined with inorganic extractive (e.g. seaweeds such as kelps) and organic extractive (e.g. filter-feeding invertebrates such as mussels) aquaculture. This process allows farmers to diversify their crops and results in an aquaculture industry that is more environmentally and economically sustainable.

Practices like IMTA can help the industry meet increasing demands, diversify product lines, provide local employment, and help answer environmental concerns raised by regulators or the public.

Since their inception in 1995, the NSERC Synergy Awards have honoured the most outstanding achievements of university-industry collaboration.

Further Reading

- Full details about the award and a video about the research may be found by clicking here.