Researching Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 February 2010, at 12:00am

CANADA - Thierry Chopin from the University of New Brunswick in Saint John has been awarded $5 million over the next five year to explore integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA).

Dr Chopin is the scientific director of the NSERC Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Network (CIMTAN).

IMTA combines the cultivation of fed species (e.g. finfish) with inorganic extractive species (e.g. seaweeds) and organic extractive species (e.g. suspension and deposit feeders) for a balanced ecosystem management approach. Canada is at the forefront of the research and development of this concept. It could provide a solution for the environmental sustainability, economic stability and societal acceptability of aquaculture.

CIMTAN will conduct research on environmental system performance, biomitigation efficiency and species interactions; system design and engineering; and economic analysis and social implications. CIMTAN will aim at creating the conditions for increased economic opportunities in rural coastal regions, including First Nations communities, providing sustainable, quality seafood to Canadians, concomitant with increased societal acceptance of the aquaculture sector and public policy development for improved government decision-making.

“CIMTAN is a network of 26 scientists from eight universities, six Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) laboratories, one provincial laboratory and three industrial partners, spread over six provinces,” explains Dr Chopin.

“With $5 million from NSERC, $1.1 million from DFO and significant cash and in-kind contributions from all CIMTAN members, it is a $9.6-million budget over five years, which will allow us to take IMTA from a common sense concept to commercialization, while providing interdisciplinary training to 114 highly qualified personnel.”