Emergence client, Centre for Aquaculture Technologies (CATC), working to save farmed Atlantic salmon from climate change

Genome Atlantic reports that warming sea temperatures in the North Atlantic are a big concern for Atlantic Canada’s aquaculture industry.

“Rising summer water temperatures of even a few degrees, especially in combination with low water oxygen levels, can pose a number of challenges to salmon aquaculture including an increase in the incidence of disease and mortalities.”  

But help is on the way, thanks to a $4.4 million Atlantic regional research project called Mitigating the Impact of Climate-Related Challenges on Salmon Aquaculture (MICCSA). Read the full story here!

The project is using genomics and genetic sequencing to provide the east coast salmon aquaculture industry with tools and knowledge that can be used to adapt its production to rising ocean temperatures and to select more disease-resistant broodstock.

Announced last year in St. John’s, NL, MICCSA was enabled by Genome Atlantic and funded by $3 million from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, $0.5 million from Innovate NL and another $0.5 million from industry and national academic partners. The project is co-led by researchers at Memorial University and the University of Prince Edward Island.  

Industry partner, Emergence client, the Centre for Aquaculture Technologies (CATC) based in Souris, Prince Edward Island, agrees that this research is critical to the aquaculture industry.  “The ability to predict what strains of Atlantic salmon perform better under elevated temperatures could soon become an urgent need for commercial breeding programs,” said Debbie Plouffe, the company’s executive vice president of research. 

Debbie Plouffe

Plouffe believes that aquaculture will play a key role in supplying economical, high-quality and sustainably produced protein for human consumption in the coming years.

“In order for the industry to reach its maximum potential, the application of state-of-the-art approaches to breeding are going to be essential.  CATC’s participation in this collaborative project is one of the many ways that our company is working with Genome Atlantic and Canadian public and private sector partners to drive innovation in the aquaculture sector.”

The Centre for Aquaculture Technologies Canada is a contract research organization (CRO) providing support for R&D and commercialization activities in the aquaculture industry, with particular expertise in GxP-compliant research.

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