$35 million commitment to reduce medicinal use
August 18, 2016 – Campbell River, B.C.
Marine Harvest Canada (MHC) is announcing the arrival of a state-of-the-art well boat that will provide environmentally friendly fish health treatments for its salmon farms in British Columbia. The 75 metre ship, valued at $35 million (CDN), is expected to arrive in Canada in late 2017.
“Simply put, this is a game changer for our business,” says Vincent Erenst, MHC’s managing director. “This vessel allows us to provide freshwater therapy regularly to all our salmon.”
A new aquaculture division that partners Marine Harvest and Deep Sea Supply will build the vessel. It will be the first boat built by the company’s new joint venture. With a water holding capacity of about 3000 cubic metres, an onboard reverse osmosis system will turn saltwater into freshwater.
Marine Harvest’s commitment to continually reduce medicinal use at its salmon farming operations is finding novel solutions. This latest advancement will provide contained freshwater baths to help improve gill health and fish quality by naturally removing and capturing external parasites found commonly in the ocean. The freshwater immersion of saltwater fish species can help cure a fish of unwanted marine microbes and parasites, such as sea lice, that cannot survive in low salinity.
“Freshwater baths are used in other aquaculture regions around the world to aid in fish health management,” says Dr. Diane Morrison (DVM). “Our local trials have shown that the same method is extremely effective at removing sea lice and improving gill quality on our fish.”
Freshwater will be one of several treatment options that fish health professionals in B.C. can use in a successful integrated fish health management program. This fish health strategy also helps to meet standards set by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, a certification system that Marine Harvest has committed to achieve at all regions by 2020. The company was the first to achieve ASC salmon certification in North America in 2015.
Marine Harvest is the world’s leading salmon aquaculture company, with its Canadian head office located in Campbell River, B.C.