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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Evolving Technology Closes in on a More Sustainably Farmed Salmon

Kimberly Irwin is an intern with SeaChoice and Kelly Roebuck is Living Oceans Society's Sustainable Seafood Campaign Manager.

Take a look back 20 years and it is amazing how far we have come in the way of technology – from brick sized analog cell phones to digital smart phones being just one example of many. Industries typically evolve to become more sustainable, relevant and efficient overtime. Aquaculture should be no exception. Yet the majority of salmon farming is still done the same way as it was 20 years ago, in open net-cages that are in direct contact with the marine environment and wild salmon. SeaChoice deems open net-cage farmed salmon to be an ‘Avoid’ due to this farming method's environmental impacts. But what if salmon farming technology evolved? Well savvy innovators are closing in!

Rural West Virginia may seem like an unlikely location for an internationally renowned research facility and salmon aquaculture, but there sits The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute (TCFFI) nestled on 100 acres of farm land. The institute opened its doors in 1987 in the hopes of solving some of the most pressing issues related to the management and efficient use of freshwater resources.