Aquaculture is the farming of finfish, molluscs, custaceans, aquatic plants and algae by cultivating both saltwater and freshwater populations in controlled environments. With a history dating back to 2000 BC, aquaculture has continued to grow in scale and is now the fastest growing food segment globally, currently representing nearly 50% of all seafood produced for human consumption.
According the the World Health Organization, global food supplies must double by 2050 to keep pace with a growing population and increasing per capita demand for protein. This equates to more than 47 million tonnes of incremental aquatic food that will be required over that timeframe. Due to significant overfishing and marine mismanagement, wild fish stocks have declined by nearly 50% since 1970 leaving wild caught production virtually flat over the past decade and unable to meet the increasing global demand going forward.
Often referred to as “the perfect protein”, farmed fish have a significantly lower impact on the environment and resources versus other forms of protein. For example the feed conversion ratio of 1.2 pounds of feed and 1 gallon of fresh water is a small fraction of the 13 pounds of feed and 2,500 gallons of fresh water required to produce a single pound of beef. Hormones, drugs and chemicals are rarely used in aquaculture and farmed fish can be completely free of contaminants including PCB’s and mercury that are often found in wild caught stocks.
When done correctly, aquaculture also significantly reduces the pressure on wild fish stocks and also has no byproduct catch. Aquaculture also contributes to environmental sustainability by sequestering nutrients and helping clean the water. Further, waste that is produced is used for fertilizer and food for other marine life adding to the long term health of the oceans.
In Canada aquaculture is strictly regulated at both the Federal and Provincial levels to ensure long term economic and environmental sustainability. At Ocean Trout Canada we strive to meet and exceed all governmental regulations and requirements to ensure the sustainability of our operations while maximizing the long term benefits we provide to our employees, the communities in which we operate, the environment and the end consumers we serve.
Operating in Atlantic Canada, Ocean Trout Canada is well positioned to seize these opportunities as no other region globally offers such a wide range of benefits:
* Close proximity to the US market where per capita seafood consumption is half of the global average
* 40,000 kilometers of coastline with cool, pristine waters ideal for aquaculture production
* Significant Federal, Regional and Provincial support for growing aquaculture production
* Numerous Federal and Provincial financial support programs are accessible to drive investment and growth
* World class research and development facilities, expert consultants and industry support firms located within the region
* One of the lowest operating cost environments in the G7 countries
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