NAIA Cold Harvester magazine Spring 2021

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, the ground-breaking closed floating fish farming system has been in operation for two generations outside of Stavanger, Norway and the results are better than its developers could have imagined. The technology is also giving fish farmers the tool they need for sustainable growth! FishGLOBE is a fully closed fish tank for salmon, designed to produce post smolt (up to 1kg). The first commercial version is 3500m3 and has a capacity of 75 kg/m3 – higher than any other closed system. The hope and aim in designing and building the globe was to help the industry to handle some of the big challenges: achieving better fish welfare, eliminating lice or the need for lice treatment and preventing escapes. As a bonus, the system also enables collection of the sediments, therefore reducing the environmental impact on the fjords. The globe is built in polyethylene (HDPE), a strong and flexible material. It is a complete closed unit – the top is covered - and gives high health, safety, environment and welfare for the operators all year long. There are six inlet pipes taking water from a deep level, below the sea lice belt. The flow and circulation are economically calculated from CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis and the flow is one of the main reasons for the great results that have been achieved. Particles are lifted up to the technical deck from bottom, giving 100% control of the feeding process, meaning the fish can be fed with extreme precision, giving premium growth results. | 2

The flow is also crucial for optimizing O2 levels and getting rid of the CO2. With three water changes per hour, the flow and the fish welfare are the best in class. No other closed containment system can show such excellent water flow and – best of all – that way it is also possible to go up to 75 kg/m3.

As a post smolt production unit, a globe represents a very wise investment for fish farmers. It will give good flexibility as it is an autonomous and movable unit. The results from the first two generations show that FishGLOBE delivers on its promises, as well as producing growth that has exceeded the developers’ expectations. If the cost is compared with other investment – such as a post smolt facility onshore – the globe shows a significantly lower required investment and is biologically safer than, for example, RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems). FishGLOBE is the production unit of tomorrow and it is already commercially available to help farmers to cope with the greatest challenge of them all – growing production in a way that is flexible and sustainable. www.fishglobe.no Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


In this Issue Message from President and Chair of the Board, Jason Card Message from Executive Director Mark Lane, C.D.

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Aquaculture Canada and WAS North America rescheduled to 2022

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Fostering an appreciation for sciencebased aquaculture for generations

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2020 Aquaculture Award Recipients

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NAIA Awards Ceremony May19th

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World Oceans Day Poster Contest

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Provincial Government Helping Shellfish Aquaculture in Notre Dame Bay

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Community Profile: Stephenville

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The Promise of Plastics from Waste

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Intelligent Marine Operations AI-Driven Imaging Sensors

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Moving Toward Autonomous Net Inspection

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NAIA Partners with Let’s Talk Science

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Cooking with Chef Steve Watson

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New Study Highlights Need to Broaden Water Quality Monitoring at Fish Farms

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Welcome New Members!

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Couturier on Culture

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Increased Fish Pen Security with SeaQureWeld

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Cooke Aquaculture and Mowi Canada East support the St. Alban’s Lions Club

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) is a member-based organization that represents the interests of seafood farmers and their suppliers in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are passionate advocates on behalf of our members to facilitate and promote the responsible development of the aquaculture industry. NAIA Board of Directors 2021-2022 President / Salmonid Representative Jason Card, Mowi Canada East

Shellfish Representative Laura Halfyard, Connaigre Fish Farms Inc.

Past President / Salmonid Representative Sheldon George, Cold Ocean Salmon

Shellfish Representative Juan Roberts, Badger Bay Mussel Farms Ltd.

Vice President / Shellfish Representative Terry Mills, Norlantic Processors Inc.

Salmonid Representative Knut Skeidsvoll, Grieg Seafood Newfoundland

Treasurer / At-Large Representative Danny Boyce, Dr. Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building, (JBARB) Memorial University of NL

Alternate Species Representative Joanne Stirling, Jerseyman's Island Fisheries Inc.

Secretary / At-large Representative Jonathan Gagné, Entreprises Shippagan Ltd.

Contact Us 29 – 31 Pippy Place, Suite 3007 St. John’s, NL, A1B 3X2 Ph: 709-754-2854 Fax: 709-754-2981 P.O. Box 27, St. Alban’s, NL, A0H 2E0 Ph: 709-538-3454 Fax: 709-538-3464 Cold Harvester Credits Katja Moehl Graphic Design Roberta Collier Copy Editor and Design Assistant

At-Large Representative Jason McGrattan, Elanco Canada Limited

Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association Staff Mark Lane Executive Director mark@naia.ca

Jackie Richards Office Manager jackie@naia.ca

Darrell Green R&D Coordinator dgreen@naia.ca

Roberta Collier Community Outreach Coordinator St. Alban’s Office roberta@naia.ca

Spring 2021

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Message from ?President and Chair of the Board

? Jason Card

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reetings to all Cold Harvester readers! It has been an exciting couple of months since our last edition of the Cold Harvester. The much anticipated Greene Report was released, which stated “The growing aquaculture sector can provide year round jobs for rural Newfoundland in all aspects of the business, from equipment manufacturing to fish processing and marketing. The province should continue to support and actively promote this sector.” This report is meant to be a transformational plan for Newfoundland and Labrador that attempts to tie all aspects of the economy and society together to meet some of the biggest challenges and opportunities ever faced by the Province. To have aquaculture discussed

Photo: Loozrboy, Flickr

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AUGUST 15-18, 2022 Photo: Mike Norton, Flickr

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada St. John's Convention Centre

Aquaculture Canada and WAS North America 2022

specifically as an important part of that plan was important. It underlined for the public something that us sea farmers have known for a long time – our industry is the future of food, and our companies, suppliers, support services, Indigenous and community leaders, and our industry association are all working to maximize the opportunity in front of us. We also announced the Aquaculture Achievement Awards Recipients, which involved a virtual ceremony this year. I congratulate all award winners, not just for their respective achievements, but also for being pioneers in an industry that is still in the early days of realizing its potential. You will be remembered fondly as the people who built this industry, and it is great to have people like you to set the standard for all of us. It is also great to have a team at NAIA who can properly recognize such achievements despite the challenges posed by COVID. To Mark, Darrell, Roberta, and Jackie, a very special thanks for all that you do, but especially for creating such a great virtual event. Finally, and most importantly, farmers are now back on the water for another season of producing premium seafood! Between the consolidation we are seeing in a mussel industry that will be stronger than ever, the interest we are seeing in exploring new species for aquaculture, and the significant investments we are seeing from salmon farmers in every phase of growing from egg to plate, there is much to look forward to, and a great deal of enthusiasm for achieving the production goals set out in partnership with our Provincial Government. I wish all of you the very best for a safe and successful summer on the sea, and as always, if you need the support of your association on any manner, we are a phone call away.

Details coming soon to the following websites: aquacultureassociation.ca | was.org | naia.ca

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Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


Message from ?Executive Director

? Mark Lane, C.D.

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s our fish and shellfish continue to grow so too does the support for the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through public research conducted recently by MQO Research, 71% of respondents indicated support for the aquaculture industry which is an increase over 2020 (62%) and 2018 (56%). The top reasons for supporting the industry was the economic impact and job creation (61%) and a good way to provide better quality food (41%). Alternatively, opposition to our industry continues to decrease 2018 (14%), 2020 (10%) and 2021 (9%). Why? – It’s a collection of things. Just recently my father joined me on a tour of our operations on the South coast with Minister of Fisheries Forestry and Agriculture, Derrick Bragg, and Elvis Loveless, MHA for Fortune Bay-Cape la Hune and Minister for Transportation and Works. This was Minister Bragg’s first return to the area in more than decade and his first real immersive exposure to the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland. The first day of our tour we visited Newfoundland Aqua Service; Cooke’s Swanger Cove Hatchery and their maintenance facility in St. Alban’s. We also visited Cooke’s lumpfish nursery in Belleoram and the freshwater smolt site in Long Pond. The first thing my father observed upon arriving in St. Alban’s was the scale of retail, business and government services in the community. St. Alban’s, a community of 1200 was traditionally regarded as a hub for the aquaculture industry and of course NAIA maintains an office in the town. At each location he also noted that people were proud and happy to be working and living in the Coast of Bays whether it be their hometown or those who have relocated to the area from elsewhere.

Spring 2021

We spent the night in Harbour Breton and went for drive around the town. Once again, my father was flabbergasted on the residential, commercial construction and business activity in such a small rural community. Within the last decade the town has seen tremendous growth as a result of the aquaculture industry; whether it be Bill Barry’s processing facility, government wharf, or marine service yard just to mention a few. On our way back up the Bay d’Espoir highway my father remarked that, if those that remain undecided about the industry could visit and see first-hand how we operate sustainably and environmentally responsibly; how we are creating opportunities for hard-working Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to live, work and raise a family in rural coastal communities; how we are providing hope for the future of rural areas of our province, then we could increase our level of support further. NAIA intends to do just that. Through our public awareness campaign “Bringing so much to the table” we brought our story into hundreds of thousands of households each day. Following from that, we hope to increase visitation to our areas of operations especially for key decision makers. In instances where travel to our sites is not feasible, NAIA intends to bring our operations to even more Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. NAIA is near to launching Aquaculture 101, a comprehensive suite of learning resources including virtual reality tours of shellfish and salmon operations from eggto-plate to further engage educate the general public on our farming practices. A lot has changed in our industry in the last few years. If you or someone you know is interested in touring a farm or learning more please reach out, as seeing is believing. I am confident you will be impressed with our farmers and their operations. As poet William Blake once said: “What is now proved was once only imagined.”

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Aquaculture Canada and WAS North America 2021 June 3, 2021 rescheduled to August 15-18, 2022

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he Aquaculture Canada and WAS North America 2021 conference (a partnership of the Aquaculture Association of Canada (AAC), the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA)) will be rescheduled to August 15 - 18, 2022, at the St. John’s Convention Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. As we know, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has impacted all events and travel planning globally. The health, safety and well-being of attendees is paramount in any decisions made by the Steering Committee. The health protection guidance in many countries has restricted global travel and has halted large scale public events. Please note that all originally planned events and sessions for the conference will proceed as planned with the exception of the dates. This meeting will still also represent the 2022 annual meetings of the AAC and NAIA. Submitted abstracts to date will continue to be processed by the Program Committee, and all registrations will continue to be valid. The abstract deadline will be changed to March 15, 2022.

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Booth bookings will continue to be acknowledged. Conference management will send the updated manual and all other pertinent information to those registered. If you have made accommodation arrangements, it is recommended that you follow up with the hotel directly regarding cancellations or date changes. Hotel room bookings will not be rolled over to 2022. Please continue to follow the conference website for new hotel booking information. Information regarding commercial exhibitors, sponsorship opportunities, participants, and visitors’ registrations can be found at www.was.org. We thank you all for your patience and look forward to seeing you all in St. John’s in 2022! FOR MORE INFORMATION:

John Cooksey, Executive Director WAS 1-760-751-5005 | worldaqua@was.org | www.was.org Joanne Burry, Conference Manager AAC jmburry@nl.rogers.com | www.aquacultureassociation.ca Mark Lane, Executive Director NAIA Mobile: (709) 689 8536 | mark@naia.ca | www.naia.ca

Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


Fostering an appreciation for sciencebased aquaculture for generations By: Claire Ryan, Director of Public Relations, Cooke Inc.

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fter a year of online learning, with classrooms and labs replaced by video demonstrations and reading, Reanna George is happy to be spending another summer in a hands-on science setting. Her experience working in aquaculture helped bring some of her learning to life when labs and demonstrations had to happen online on account of the pandemic. For the last two summers, George, 19, a student in Memorial University’s Bachelor of Science program, has worked as a hatchery technician at Cold Ocean’s Swanger Cove Hatchery, where she assists the team with weight sampling, fish measurements, water testing and fish monitoring. In fact, her work experience at Cold Ocean gave her an advantage over her fellow first year classmates in her spring semester as students learned all about the different parts and characteristics of a fish. She is one of four summer students Cold Ocean has hired this year for a summer term. Her first official foray into Reanna George (right) at Swangers Cove Hatchery last summer with her dad Sheldon George, Regional Manager with Cold Ocean Salmon.

aquaculture was as a high school student three years ago, when she participated in an internship program that aimed to introduce youth to all sides of aquaculture. During that eightweek program, she spent two weeks at the hatchery and the remainder of the program doing weeklong rotations at different aquaculture sites. This experience helped George discover a love for science that has been informing her education ever since. “My studies were influenced by being immersed in aquaculture as a summer student and seeing all the science in the industry,” George explains. “Based on my experiences as an intern and working here, I knew biology and chemistry were my favourite sciences before I even started the classes.” However, George, the daughter of Cold Ocean’s regional manager Sheldon George, was hardly a stranger to the world of fish farming. “I’ve wanted to work with my dad since I was little,” she explained. “His job is such a big part of his life, which has made it part of my life. To be working in the field day-today it was a whole new experience, there’s so much to see and learn, it’s fun and interesting to say the least.” Spring 2021

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Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

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2020 Aquaculture Award Recipients

he Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association is pleased to announce the award recipients for our annual Aquaculture Awards. Special thanks to the honorable Scott Reid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture and MHA for St. George’s – Humber, and Elvis Loveless, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and

MHA Fortune Bay Cape La Hune for joining us virtually on May 19th as we celebrated the achievements of some of the many great organizations and awe-inspiring women and men who make our industry great! Congratulations to all the very deserving award recipients!

Stewardship and Sustainability Award Recognizes an organization or initiative that has contributed significantly to the sustainability of the aquaculture sector in Newfoundland and Labrador. This award often celebrates initiatives which contribute to collaborative marine resource management.

Newfoundland Aqua Service Boyd Pack, CEO

NEWFOUNDLAND AQUA SERVICE AND MIAWPUKEK FIRST NATION NL Aqua Service, led by Boyd Pack and located in Milltown - Head of Bay d'Espoir, through a partnership with Miawpukek First Nation, provides in-situ net cleaning services, which involves the use of an advanced underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle developed by AKVA Group ASA. Miawpukek First Nation supply an innovative, custom built service vessel to assist with providing this unique service. NL Aqua Service has also been providing land based net washing, treatment, disinfection and repairs to the salmonid industry for more than 20 years. Miawpukek First Nation Reserve is located in Conne River. Misel Joe is currently serving his 14th consecutive two year term as Administrative Chief. In this capacity he has gained recognition provincially, nationally, and internationally, particularly in the area of spiritual healing. This partnership with NL Aqua Service is an example of a long-established initiative embracing innovation to provide the very latest and best service to the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Miawpukek First Nation Chief Misel Joe

Community Service Award The Community Service Award is given to an individual, company or organization who has improved and enhanced the image and knowledge of the aquaculture sector within local communities. This award highlights a particular focus on education and raising awareness of the sector among individuals or groups, including local community organizations, businesses and schools.

Mayor of Hermitage Sandyville, Steve Crewe

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STEVE CREWE Steve Crewe has been the Mayor of Hermitage-Sandyville for the past 8 years, and on council since 2002. Employed by Bell Aliant, he is also Chairperson on the Coast of Bays Joint Mayors committee, deputy Fire Chief for their local Fire Department, member of the provincial Code of Containment committee, and a strong advocate for the aquaculture industry and their needs in his community and province. He also promotes aquaculture careers to high school students in the area on a regular basis. continued next page 9|


2020 AQUACULTURE AWARDS continued

Aquaculture Supplier of the Year Award The Aquaculture Supplier of the Year Award is given to a supplier or service provider which has demonstrated capabilities such as: quality of products or services, technical advice and input, back-up service and communication or product research and development. The supplier has provided services which have furthered the economic performance and sustainability of the aquaculture industry.

360 MARINE LTD. Located in Harbour Breton, and led by Fabian Manning, 360 Marine Ltd. offers a broad array of services to the industry including work boats, tugs, delousing vessels, material management, cage & component construction, crew & supply services, marine centre & maintenance services, electrical & aeration services and more. They play an integral role in virtually all aspects of an aquaculture operation and are a great example of a thriving local business that has been created from the tremendous supply and service opportunities that have been generated from the growth of aquaculture in NL.

MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR Memorial University has led the development of the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Aquaculture activity in the province has its origins at Memorial University’s Marine Sciences Research Laboratory, the precursor of the Department of Ocean Sciences. Memorial’s pioneering activity continues through aquaculture research at the Department of Ocean Sciences and the Marine Institute. Research activities involve(s) the development of new species (Atlantic Cod, Yellowtail Flounder, Atlantic Halibut) and more recently with Green Sea Urchin Ranching, American Oyster and Cleaner Fish for aquaculture in the province.

Excellence in Innovation Award Awarded to companies or individuals that employ any innovation that has made a significant positive contribution to, among other factors, production performance, animal welfare, processing, health and safety, sustainability or product development. This can be demonstrated in the areas of the use of existing or new technology, staff management and training or farming practices.

DEEP TREKKER Deep Trekker’s consistent innovation though their submersible remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) have made a significant positive contribution to the aquaculture industry by allowing users to optimize their operations, maximize budgets and increase safety for employees on the farm. By providing technicians with a reliable way to conduct net inspections and monitor fish behaviour and feeding, their ROVs enhance aquaculture operations and maximize budgets by providing a safe and reliable way to monitor net integrity and observe fish behaviour. | 10

Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


Distinguished Early Career Award To mark the achievements of the up-and-coming generation within the industry. The award celebrates the talent and ambition of a junior employee or apprentice within the aquaculture industry, recognizing outstanding talent and encouraging rising stars to become tomorrow’s industry leaders. Nominations are open to youth under-35 based in Newfoundland and Labrador. NATASHA BAKER Natasha Baker grew up in Little Burnt Bay. She completed a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Marine Biology and Minors in both Biochemistry and Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries Ecology at Memorial University. She found a job at Northern Harvest Smolt (now MOWI) as soon as she finished her degree and has been working at the Stephenville Hatchery ever since. Her current role is the Supervisor for our Incubation, First Feed and Fry systems.

Natasha Baker, Supervisor, Incubation, First Feed and Fry Systems, Northern Harvest Smolt/Mowi

CHRIS MALANKA Chris Malanka is from Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography and an Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Aquaculture from the Marine Institute. Chris started working with Cermaq Canada on Vancouver Island in 2015. He moved to Newfoundland to take on the role of Smotification Manager with Grieg in October 2019. Chris Malanka, Smotification Manager, Grieg Seafood Newfoundland

LAURA DWYER Laura Dwyer acquired a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Marine Biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Aquaculture from the Fisheries and Marine Institute. She has been working with Grieg Seafood Newfoundland since 2016 and is currently the Manager of Research and Development. She is undertaking various land-based and marine site projects, including Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Integrated Operations and Real-Time Analytics Project. Laura Dwyer, Manager of Research and Development, Grieg Seafood Newfoundland

JANICE DUGGAN-MOLLOY Janice Duggan Molloy, originally from Cape Broyle, resides in Milltown with her husband Adam. She studied Marine Environmental Technology and completed her Technology Degree (Engineering Technology and Applied Science) and Master of Technology Management Degree (Aquaculture) through the Marine Institute. Janice started in the industry in 2011 and has been working as the Technical Supervisor for Cold Ocean Salmon since 2016. continued next page

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Janice Duggan-Molloy, Technical Supervisor, Cold Ocean Salmon

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Congratulations Aquaculture Ambassador Award

Awarded to an individual who represents aquaculture in a positive light through public engagement, promoting the sustainable aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tom Rose, Mayor of Stephenville, NL

TOM ROSE Tom Rose started his career in the Canadian Airforce working in Air Traffic Control. After serving for 5 years, he returned to his hometown of Stephenville and started the family farm producing strawberries and hay for five years. He was appointed to an executive assistant role to the Minister of the Environment for two years. He then spent 15 years teaching Business at the College of the North Atlantic until retirement. Tom is currently the Mayor of Stephenville and has been an advocate of the aquaculture industry and personally appeared in an ongoing advertising campaign to promote awareness of the positive economic impact aquaculture is having in his community and province.

Lifetime Achievement Award The Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to aquaculture in Newfoundland over his or her lifetime. Throughout his or her career, the recipient will have demonstrated a commitment to responsible and sustainable aquaculture development. They have made significant contributions to the field of aquaculture and serves as a model that inspires excellence in others. Individuals who have had a successful career in any aspect of the industry, whether at sea, in the hatchery / nursery, or in service and supply, are eligible for consideration. Job Halfyard, Connaigre Fish Farms Inc.

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JOB HALFYARD Job Halfyard was a teacher/principal in the Baie Verte and Green Bay areas for the first 30-years of his career and was a recipient of the NTA Bancroft Award. He was also involved in the wild fishery, construction, and mining industry, as well as many community and provincial organizations seeking socio-economic growth, education, and health care for rural regions of the province. He then directed his efforts, resources and optimism towards a second 30-year career as a pioneer in the emerging aquaculture industry. In 1988 he co-founded the Sunrise Fish Farms Inc., a mussel farm near Port Anson and Roberts Arm in Green Bay, and in 1998 Connaigre Fish Farms Inc. near Hermitage on the south coast, to address ice-free farm options. Halfyard helped found the provincial NAIA organization in 1991, and served as President, Past-President, and a Mussel Industry Representative of the board. Job was awarded NAIA’s Aquaculturist of the Year Award in 2005 for his contribution to the NL aquaculture industry. Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


NAIA Awards Ceremony May 19th

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New Study Highlights Need to Broaden Water Quality Monitoring at Fish Farms By: Jennie Korus, Aquaculture Scientist, Innovasea

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s humans we don’t often think about how much oxygen is contained in the air because there is always more than enough for us to breathe. Underwater, things are a little different. Oxygen concentrations are constantly changing due to changes in temperature, salinity, wind and currents. Fish take up oxygen over their gills and have minimum oxygen requirements that must be met for them to breathe without enduring any stress. On a fish farm, where there are thousands of fish in a single pen, it is vital to monitor oxygen levels to ensure that fish are living within optimal conditions to reduce stress and ensure an efficient grow-out cycle. But do oxygen levels vary across such a small area? If so, by how much? And how many sensors do you need to accurately capture these fine-scale changes? According to a new study by researcher Meredith Burke at Halifax’s Dalhousie University, real-time sensors improve

the monitoring capacity of dissolved oxygen and other important water quality parameters. The study is one of the first to monitor the fine-scale variability of dissolved oxygen and temperature across a salmon farm. The research took place at an Atlantic salmon farm in Nova Scotia. Using Innovasea’s wireless aquaMeasure sensors deployed 2 meters deep in each of the farm’s 19 pens, the study measured temperature and oxygen levels every five minutes between September 2018 and December 2018. The results show there are several factors that influence oxygen levels and that these factors can affect pens differently depending on the layout of the farm and the surrounding water currents. The factors include things like tide, pen infrastructure and even the fish themselves. “At this site, tide was a critical factor affecting oxygen,” Burke told Innovasea. “So during an incoming tide, the pens at the exposed end will have higher oxygen levels than those at the opposite end of the farm. It was to such a degree that

A connection as deep as the ocean Find out more: www.mowi.com/cae

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Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


while one end of the farm was experiencing the highest levels of oxygen, the opposite end was experiencing the lowest.” Burke’s key take-away from the study? “If we only monitor one or two pens and depend on those results alone, we miss what the fish are experiencing in other pens.” Burke says each pen has its own individual environment and should be monitored as such. Farmers consistently balance feeding and oxygen levels, so having information in real-time from each pen is critical to ensure they are feeding each pen in optimal conditions. Dissolved oxygen levels affect metabolism, welfare and growth in fish. When being fed, fish use up more oxygen as a part of the metabolic process, resulting in lower oxygen levels in the water. If fish are fed when oxygen levels are low, it can

lead to reduced fish growth and mortality. It can also increase stress and therefore vulnerability to disease. Findings such as these are critical in advancing the industry and ensure fish welfare and production cycles efficiencies are maximized. Just recently, the government in Chile mandated real-time environmental monitoring for ocean-based fish farms. As technology improves, government and industry agencies are likely to require higher standards of water quality monitoring. Jennie Korus is an aquaculture scientist at Innovasea and part of the Aquaculture Intelligence team in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jennie holds an honors degree in Marine Biology and Statistics from Dalhousie University and an advanced diploma in Ocean Technology from NSCC. She is currently working towards her master’s in Oceanography at Dalhousie with a focus on fish stress and environmental monitoring on aquaculture farms.

FOUNDLAND

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WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! Cahill Group Brad Forsey www.cahill.ca

Robb Hoyles www.polyamyna.ca Eddy Knox www.pennecon.com Pat Whittle www.dfbarnes.com

Steve Kent www.pardyswaste.com Interested in Becoming Member of NAIA?

Contact Roberta Collier BUS: 709-538-3454 • CEL: 709-538-7080 • EMAIL: roberta@naia.ca

Gateway to the Aquaculture Industry in Newfoundland & Labrador Business Partnerships • Broad Based Healthcare Services Diverse Housing & Real Estate • Education Centre • Fully Serviced Industrial Park Innovation Partnerships • Key Transportation Hub • Retail Services

We want to work with you! Visit us at:

www.gatewaytoaquaculture.com

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Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


Increased Fish Pen Security with SeaQureWeld Supply partner Gael Force Group reveals how its quality assurance program is taking fish pen manufacturing to the next level Mike Staite, P.Eng. PMP, General Manager, Gael Force Canada 1 Maloney Street, Grand Falls Windsor, NL A2A 2P8, Mike.staite@gaelforcegroup.com | www.gaelforcegroup.com

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he forces of nature in exposed farming locations demand a robustly manufactured fish pen system that will take everything that the harsh marine environment will throw at it. Fish farmers in exposed locations expect heavy-duty pens on their site to be strong and live long. Pens play a crucial role in keeping their fish secure and healthy, their farm technicians safe, and provide effortless access to in-pen technology and subsea connections. To exceed those expectations, Gael Force Group has raised the stakes by investing in a sector-leading quality assurance program in the production of its HDPE fish farm pens while implementing a series of design improvements. Underpinning this unique quality assurance programme is an ISO 9001:2015 accredited quality management system and a purpose built QHSE software platform. The supply partner has also been recommended for NS9415 certification by leading Norwegian certification body, Aquastructures. These are critical foundations for formalising strict pen build procedures, monitoring plant and machinery, and supporting the continuous skills and training development of their workforce. Strong, clear Spring 2021

team communication is also critical as part of the program and the adopted QHSE software enhances this through use of automated email alerts. At the heart of the programme is SeaQureWeld – a stringent process for assuring the highest standards of quality in the butt fusion welding of HDPE pipe joints during pen assembly. Tight Incoming Quality Assurance (IQA) checks are carried out with records retained on all critical components and materials entering the production area to ensure they meet high-quality standards. Gael Force has invested in highly specialised weld inspection equipment which is used to perform quality tests on every weld bead produced from butt-fused pipe joints. The weld inspection equipment allows further in-depth testing and analysis of the external weld bead created during butt fusion and identifies defects at a higher level within the joint with pinpoint precision and accuracy. It logs all the detail related to each individual weld which is filed per project on the accompanying specialist database on the cloud, ensuring maximum traceability. As part of the quality assurance programme, the fully integrated SeaQurePen 500 and SeaQureLift winch system have been reinforced through design improvements identified from user feedback on the harshest sites. With its robust quality assurance programme and latest design improvements, Gael Force is setting a new benchmark for the aquaculture sector. In addition to new pen construction and supply, Gael Force is also able to offer services such as repairing and re-building existing pen cages as well as independent third-party farm pen and moorings inspections and certification programs for legislative compliance and licensing approvals. 17 |


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World Oceans Da

orld Ocean Day, which was June 8th this year, was first proposed by Canada in 1992 and was declared as such by the United Nations. Oceans Week, June 1 - 8, was declared by the Board of World Oceans Day Canada in 2010, with the goal of educating about the importance of protecting our waterways, watersheds and ocean waters and habitat and encouraging everyone to take action to preserve, conserve and protect. With the ongoing pandemic, NAIA staff organized a province wide poster contest and more than 200 very artistic submissions from 16 grade levels/ schools across the province were received. The theme for this year was “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together”, and the artwork that came in many forms depicted this message. A province wide marine debris scavenger hunt also took place and 20 youth sent photos of the debris that was collected at the beach in their area. From Conception Bay South to McCallum and in between, children, their families and schools got out to the beaches and did their part for World Oceans Day. On Tuesday, June 8th, we joined staff and twenty-three grade 2 and 3 students of Bay d’Espoir Academy and participated in a mini shoreline clean up in St. Alban’s. A full truck load of debris was collected in one area of St. Alban’s. It was a pleasure taking part and we were happy to sponsor the supplies for the event. A youth cupcake contest was also organized at Clover Farm St. Alban’s and NAIA was happy to sponsor the event. | 18

The children seemed to enjoy creating their masterpieces with a marine theme. Decorating with candy always helps! A provincial World Oceans Day video of greetings was also compiled and used on social media. Special thanks to everyone who submitted posters, photos, and videos.

Poster Contest

Marine Debris Scavenger Hunts Across the Province

Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


ay Celebrations 2021 Clover Farm St. Alban's Marine Themed Cupcake Contest

Bay d'Espoir Academy Mini Shoreline Clean Up

Spring 2021

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Provincial Government Helping to Advance Shellfish Aquaculture in Notre Dame Bay

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ne year after the official launch of the first commercially cultivated oyster in Newfoundland and Labrador, Merasheen Oyster Farms Inc. is set to grow and expand its operations. The company, which had been producing oysters in Placentia Bay for the last few years, is adding production to Notre Dame Bay. Owner Juan Roberts, the only oyster farmer in the province, says the move is expected to result in a higherquality product. The shallower, warmer waters of Notre Dame Bay are likely to speed up the usual five-year growing process – resulting in a better oyster product reaching markets more quickly. The Provincial Government’s non-repayable $248,608 contribution will assist with oyster cultivation research in Notre Dame Bay using specialized equipment, such as the Floating Upweller System, and dedicated oyster growth cages. This support will help the company continue its growth and development in a very competitive marketplace. Providing businesses such as Merasheen Oyster Farms with the tools they need to compete and succeed in global markets is important to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Increased export activity helps create jobs and economic benefits for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. QUOTES

“Through proper development, there is potential for oysters to be a significant commercial product in our province, one that could grow our economy for years to come. The Merasheen Oyster Farms product is advancing, and it just goes to show how important tech innovation is to all sectors. Our government is committed to supporting innovation in all industries and is pleased to provide support for the growth and development of this business.” Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology | 20

“The unique growing conditions in Placentia Bay create an oyster with a distinct flavor that is appreciated throughout North America. The expansion of Merasheen Oyster Farms in to Notre Dame Bay will lead to increased economic opportunities for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and allow for increased product exposure to overseas markets.” Honourable Derrick Bragg, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture “Oysters are a higher value shellfish and we believe when things improve with restaurants and the economy and an eventual easing up on restrictions, we expect oyster sales to improve and increase. We would like to thank the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for their continued support to help us grow the oyster industry, which will create jobs for rural Newfoundland and Labrador. We believe that our cold clean water will give our oysters that increased flavour that will set us apart from rest of world!” Juan Roberts, Merasheen Oyster Farms MEDIA CONTACTS

Eric Humber, Industry, Energy and Technology 709-725-9655 • erichumber@gov.nl.ca Linda Skinner, Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture 709-637-2284, 637-2461 • LindaSkinner@gov.nl.ca Juan Roberts, Merasheen Oyster Farms 709-263-2104 • juanproberts23@gmail.com

Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


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Community Profile

STEPHENVILLE All across Newfoundland and Labrador the aquaculture industry contributes to local rural economies by providing employment for residents and supporting infrastructure investments and service sector companies. Our towns support our sustainable industry by providing a positive and supportive environment for aquaculture development. With this in mind, the Community Profile Column, in each edition of the Cold Harvester magazine, will celebrate a community where the aquaculture industry is active and is boosting rural economic activity. Community: Stephenville, Newfoundland Mayor: Tom Rose Website: https://www.townofstephenville.com

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tephenville is located on the west coast of Newfoundland and Labrador and is approximately 166 Kms, a 1.5 - 2 hour drive, from the Marine Atlantic Ferry in Channel-Port aux Basques, NL which provides services to and from North Sydney, NS. Located in scenic Bay St. George, the Town of Stephenville has a population of 6,600 and is the service centre for a catchment area of 25,000. Stephenville has a sound economic infrastructure based on long-time commercial interests | 22

and industries. The Town has Stephenville Airport, a 42- bed hospital, a thriving education system that includes the provincial headquarters of the College of the North Atlantic, and a multitude of recreational activities. Our community has grown immensely with a $51 million expansion to the Northern Harvest Smolt (Mowi) salmon hatchery which is a clear indication of the impact to our town and an increase in our total budget revenue. The blue economy in aquaculture has helped increase jobs which impacts the economics and social fabric of our town. Aquaculture in Stephenville is a critical business with innovation and corporate capital which contributes to the economy in our province and country. Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


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Spring 2021

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The Promise of Plastics from Waste By: F. Kerton, Professor (Green Chemistry), Memorial University of Newfoundland

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e all know that the oils in salmon are good for our health. However, Memorial Univer sity researchers have recently shown that these oils, which can be isolated from fish processing waste streams, can also be used to make plastics. Mikhailey Wheeler, Mikhailey Wheeler holding up working with Dr. Fran Kerton, some of the ‘fish plastic’ in the has been tweaking a recipe lab. previously developed in the Green Chemistry group. She has had some success swapping out an amine previously used for amino acids. The amine or amino acid works to link up the oily components into a crosslinked and stretchy new material. New students will hopefully look at this process in more detail in the fall and may discover that the amino acid can also be isolated from fish waste. In other experiments, the group have begun examining how readily the new material would likely break down once its useful life is over. Natural catalysts, known as enzymes, capable of breaking down fats like those in the fish oil were explored. Over time, it became evident that microbes could grow on the surface of the plastic. When further studied using an electron microscope, Wheeler saw microbial growth on most samples, even those that had been in plain water, an encouraging sign that the new material might biodegrade readily. The research team plan to continue optimizing the process for making these materials and studying how amenable the material is to the microbial growth that could hasten its breakdown. They will also study its physical properties to see how it might potentially be used in real world applications, such as in separation membranes, packaging or fibers for clothing. Fran Kerton is a Professor of Green Chemistry at Memorial University. Her team performs research on transformations and uses of waste biomass and carbon dioxide, and production of degradable polymers. She won the 2019 Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Award, and is currently a member of Springboard Atlantic's Cleantech Innovation Advisory Committee. E-mail: fkerton@mun.ca, web: https:// www.mun.ca/faculty/fkerton/ | 24

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Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


Successful Partnership Providing State-of-the-Art Service to the Aquaculture Industry

PROUD RECIPIENTS OF NAIA’S 2020 STEWARDSHIP & SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

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iawpukek First Nation and Newfoundland Aqua Service are extremely proud of the role our collaboration has played in the development of a viable, sustainable aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Miawpukek has worked collaboratively with NAS for decades, dating back to when NAS was incorporated in 1994. Our longstanding partnership has always had good environmental stewardship and sustainable development as its priority. Misel Joe is currently serving his 14th consecutive two-year term as Administrative Chief for Miawpukek First Nation. In this capacity he has gained recognition provincially, nationally, and internationally, particularly in the area of spiritual healing. MFN’s partnership with Newfoundland Aqua Service is an example of a long-established initiative embracing innovation to provide the very latest and best service to the aquaculture industry. Our decision to get involved in the use of ROV technology using the AKVA FNC8 net cleaner reflects our commitment to this end. Regular in-situ net cleaning using an advanced underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle developed by AKVA Group ASA ensures unobstructed water flow through net pens and guarantees good oxygen supply to salmon which is critical to their health and growth. It also enables our customers to have their nets visually inspected much more frequently to enhance biosecurity. AKVA became majority shareholder of NAS in 2020. As in most rural areas of this Province, individual municipalities and businesses in this region do not have the physical, financial, or human resource pool to draw from to establish the kind of economic engine that would create long term, meaningful employment for the residents of the area. Collectively we can achieve better results. Our partnership allows us to supply an innovative, custom built service vessel to assist with providing this unique service. We are proud to bring new technology to the industry and encourage young people to be educated in this challenging and rewarding field. It is always a great honor to be recognized by one's colleagues. It is especially gratifying for us to be recognized for "Stewardship and Sustainability" which is the highest priority of the MFN/NAS partnership.

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Spring 2021

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TRIKAM PRESS RELEASE

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“The goal of using AI is to automate parasite detection and monitor in real time fish welfare and the integrity of infrastructure. Having an integrated device driven by AI that can easily be retrofitted to existing infrastructure will enable incredible cost savings for operators looking to optimize their aquaculture investments.” Managing Director, Discovery Blue, LLC Damien Goodyear WHY INVEST IN AQUACULTURE TECHNOLOGY?

According to the 2018 Global Food Initiative Report from the University of California, Aquaculture is the world’s fastest growing food production sector, reflecting a relative increase in the world’s population. As the global citizenry grows, more protein production initiatives will emerge to meet the current demand. As such, IPOZ Systems, LLC (IPOZ), global technology development group and Discovery Blue partner, has worked to identify potential areas where Artificial Intelligence can provide solutions to improve production. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND AQUACULTURE

Emerging AI technology is used in the subsea environment to enable safer underwater operations, enhance accuracy in data acquisition, and to monitor infrastructure. AI functionality reduces human error in manual data entry and redundant tasks by automatically logging specific data in operations. These specifications generate interest to develop the neural network for fish counting, biomass measurements, parasite detection, and asset integrity.

To promote fish welfare and sustainability within the aquaculture industry, IPOZ has designed an innovative subsea imaging system, the TriKam, allowing for automated analysis and real-time situational awareness of subsea environments. The Al technology behind the TriKam system is empowering existing and future marine operations with high-level functionality including real-time stereo photogrammetry, virtual pan, tilt and lossless zoom, color/turbidity correction, and customizable AI neural networks. With real-time disparity mapping, the system can be used as an inspection aid for damage, anomaly detection, corrosion, and biofouling mapping allowing for continuous monitoring and the ability to optimize maintenance schedules. The TriKam coupled with predictive analysis can provide the Aquaculture industry the ability to autonomously monitor fish farms whilst creating analytical records for enhanced data driven decision making. Using AI to enhance the process of inspections of infrastructure will reduce the frequency of inspection diver scopes enabling safer more cost-effective operations. Through early adaptation and development of advanced technology, the aquaculture industry can significantly improve the speed and safety of operations and build a better foundation for the management of aquaculture facilities and aquaculture planning.

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Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


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| 242021 Spring


Moving Toward Autonomous Net Inspection

T

aking a big step towards developing a hybrid autonomous vehicle, submersible robotics company Deep Trekker is proud to announce that they are launching a new ROV package, the REVOLUTION NAV. Offering advanced navigation and stabilization, this new package is leading the way in semi-autonomous vehicles. The REVOLUTION NAV package provides pilots with a Google map showing their ROV’s position on screen, allowing users to see where they are, leave a trail to show where they have been and set points of interest to where they want to return to. Furthermore, advanced stabilization features allow operators to station hold against currents, enable auto altitude and pilot their vehicle precisely and accurately through varying water conditions. Solving harsh environmental situations with fully assembled, tested and ready to use remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Deep Trekker gets eyes underwater in minutes. With applications in aquaculture, energy, shipping, defense, infrastructure and search and rescue among others, Deep Trekker’s underwater drones are on the leading edge of submersible technology. “We are thrilled to be launching the REVOLUTION NAV,” shared Deep Trekker President Sam Macdonald. “With this new package, users will be able to know where they are in real time. This advanced navigational tool allows for more complex missions to be successfully carried out by ROV pilots.” The REVOLUTION NAV’s capabilities are especially useful for applications in open, murky water or when there is significant current. The state-of-the-art features provide benefits across numerous applications for missions requiring precise navigation, location tracking and reporting. Search and recovery teams, for example, will be able to easily see and track what areas have been covered as part of the search. “The REVOLUTION NAV uses our BRIDGE technology and sensor fusion to provide station keeping, location tracking and intelligent navigation in addition to real time location data,” explained Macdonald. “We aim for constant innovation and the REVOLUTION NAV allows us to continue to provide advancements to our customers and pave the way towards autonomy.” The pairing of USBL and DVL with Deep Trekker’s BRIDGE technology and sensor fusion bring this intelligent navigation system to life. USBL systems utilize sonar beacons to triangulate the position of the ROV. A GPS chip inside the Deep Trekker | 28

BRIDGE Controller allows the system to correlate the data and provide real time latitude and longitude. DVL offers users an enhanced navigational system by providing pilots with the ability to accurately and conveniently determine velocity relative to the seafloor, allowing for easy navigation through the most complex of operations. Website: https://www.deeptrekker.com/ Contact: sales@deeptrekker.com Ph: 519-342-3177, ext. 1

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NAIA Partners with Let’s Talk Science CRAIG MERCER, HARBOUR BRETON, NL

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n the fall of 2020, NAIA partnered with Let's Talk Science to help build their collection of career profiles to highlight the many rewarding careers available in aquaculture. Let’s Talk Science is a not-for-profit corporation with a mission to develop and deliver innovative learning programs that engage children, youth and educators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They offer a variety of programs and services that encompass STEM outreach activities, early learning resources, online resources, professional learning for educators, research and an interactive teen-friendly website. Employer and Job Title: Production Coordinator, Cold Ocean Salmon Where were you born? Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Harbour Breton, Newfoundland. Where did you complete your training or education? I completed Marine Environmental Technology, and Advanced Diploma in Aquaculture programs at the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. How did you get to where you are today? Af ter completing my education, I completed work terms at the NL Government’s Water Resources Management Division in St. John’s and Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in St. Alban’s. I was then hired by Nordland Aquaculture in St. Alban’s in 2003, then hired by Cooke Aquaculture in 2007. I have been with them ever since. What do you do at work? Biology and animal husbandry is a big part of my work. My key activities Spring 2021

NAIA is in the process of identifying volunteers within the aquaculture industry who may be interested in supplying their career profile. Special thanks to Craig White, Education Specialist with Let’s Talk Science for working with us on this very exciting initiative! Be sure to visit the Let’s Talk Science website at www.letstalkscience.ca or as featured on NAIA’s social media pages as we continue to build on the long list of careers that are available in the aquaculture industry! If you are interested in participating in this exciting project, please contact Roberta Collier via email at roberta@naia.ca.

include working on company logistics, providing site supplies to the required areas and ensuring the proper disposal of mortalities. I also help troubleshoot any problems with ensiler motors or environment meters from the farms. What makes your career fulfilling? I enjoy working on a team. What I like best about my job is the mixture of different roles; getting to visit our fish farm sites as well as working in an office environment. It’s also very pleasing when I do a site visit and during sampling, I see that the fish are growing well and staying healthy. At the end of the day we can all be proud that we worked together to keep our salmon farms operating smoothly and we all get to go home to our families. I decided to pursue this type of career because I am an avid outdoorsman and love working outside in the environment. What advice would you give to a young person interested in a similar career? Anyone interested in a similar career should have an interest in the outdoors, a background or interest in sciencebased courses, and the simple will and

energy to go to work every day. There are so many areas within the aquaculture industry that offer job opportunities on land and/or on the water. (i.e. office environment, farm sites, laboratory, hatchery, etc.). To read Craigs full profile, please visit: https://letstalkscience.ca/careers/ craig-mercer 29 |


Town of Harbour Breton 41 Canada Drive Harbour Breton, NL, A0H 1P0

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Telephone: 709 885-2354 • Fax: 709 885-2095 Email: Harbourbreton@nf.aibn.com Website: www.harbourbreton.com

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Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


Cooking with Chef Steve Watson Organic Newfoundland Blue Mussels in Garlic and Fennel Tomato Bisque Serves 8 INGREDIENTS:

5 lbs Fresh Newfoundland Organic Blue Mussels 1 cup of White wine 1/2 lb Natrel sea salt butter Large Onion, coarsely chopped 20 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp Flour 1 Whole fennel, finely sliced 100 ml Central Dairies 35% cream 1 x 28 oz can chopped tomatoes, undrained 1 litre Mussel stock Salt and pepper to taste 8 thick slices of French baguette, fried in bacon fat METHOD:

Steam the Newfoundland organic mussels in white wine. Remove mussels from the shells and refrigerate. (reserve the mussel stock) Heat the butter and sauté the garlic, onion and fennel together for 4 to 5 minutes. Blend in the flour & cook for 1 minute. Gradually re-add the mussel stock. Cook for 4 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil & thickens slightly. Add tomatoes & bring to a simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Season to taste. Just before serving, add mussels and cream. Garnish with fried french baguette fried in bacon fat. SEAFOOD TIPS:

1. Blue Mussels have a lot of natural salt water inside of them. Once they start to cook, they will open up and release the water in the pot. No need to add salt! 2. When using fresh mussels, always make sure the mussel shells are firmly closed. If they are open a little give them

a firm tap against the side of the sink or the counter. If they close you can eat them. If not discard them. 3. When buying blue mussels, don’t be afraid to ask the seafood counter for fresh mussels from the storage cooler. These will be of a better quality kept on ice and not on display for a period of time.

CHEF STEVE WATSON served as an apprentice in London, and worked in Scotland, Belgium, France and Germany before moving to Canada in 1977 to study North American cooking. He taught culinary arts at the Cambrian College in Sudbury, ON before joining the Canadian Pacific Hotels chain in 1988. He recently retired as Territory Sales Manager and Executive Chef with Agropur, and has taken on a new passion of working as a tour guide with McCarthy’s Party in St. John’s, NL. He’s also a devoted family man and a prominent member of the local community. Steve epitomizes the definition of a volunteer, including his work with NAIA and his quarterly submissions to the Cold Harvester, and spends countless hours giving back to the people of a province he now calls home. Spring 2021

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Couturier on Culture Pandemic losses due to labour shortages in agriculture and agrifoods in Canada nearly CDN $6 billion Cyr is currently chair of CAHRC, representing the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance and its members on labour workforce issues, recruitment and retention strategies development. He works closely with all companies and regional associations in aquaculture to address these issues. He is a marine biologist, aquaculture scientist and chair of the MSc Sustainable Aquaculture program at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University. He has 35+ years of experience in applied research and development, training and education in aquaculture and fisheries. He is a Board and Executive member of several farming & development associations, including CAIA, CFA, CAHRC, RDÉE TNL, and is a past president of AAC and NAIA. He has worked in aquaculture and fisheries development in over 18 countries. The views expressed herein are his own. Contact: cyr@mi.mun.ca or follow on Twitter @aquacanada

R

ecently completed studies by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) and Food Processing Skills Canada (FPSC) demonstrated that the Canadian agriculture and agrifoods industry lost CDN $6 Billion owing to unskilled and skilled labour shortages in 2020 due to the pandemic (see links below in the diagrams). This was over and above market and trade losses associated with the pandemic lockdowns, and ONLY due to difficulties in getting farm labour to fill this essential service for Canadian food producers. Overall, Canadian Agriculture and Agrifoods (including farmed and wild seafood) actually “outperformed in the Canadian economy in 2020, seeing gross domestic product (GDP) increase by 7.6%, compared to a 5 .3% decline across all industries. However, the performance was inconsistent across industries with production growth concentrated in crop industries – mainly cannabis.” (CAHRC April 2021) Moreover, GDP growth in the animal production sector was almost non-existent and seafood farming suffered largely by losses in markets where “Exports of animal products fared much worse, declining by 17 .5%, with the largest declines occurring in fur-bearing animal and rabbit production, sheep and goat farming, and aquaculture.” (CAHRC April 2021) On the aquaculture front, the CAHRC survey was completed by 13 companies across all aquaculture sectors in Canada, including the major employers on both coasts, showed that farmed seafood also struggled with labour, resulting in lost sales, new markets, and lost opportunities in the millions of dollars (exact number can be determined upon request). The Spring 2021

main challenges observed by the aquaculture sector were inability to attract Canadians to work in the sector’s value chain, in spite of significant wage supports from government for the underemployed, and difficulties in accessing temporary labour (mostly in Atlantic Canada). Interestingly, vacancy rates for aquaculture labour were among the lowest in the country at 2% compared with other animal or crop production activities. The reasons are unknown, but seafood farmers were able to defer some production towards retail, direct sales to households, and delay harvest to later in the year. (NOTE – Canadian aquaculture was able to retrieve about 80% of its finfish market and 50% of its shellfish market by the end of 2020). So, perennial labour shortages continue to occur in the aquaculture sector of Canadian food producers, in the 2019 study for seafood farmers this equated to CDN $60 million in lost revenue, and is only expected to increase in the next 10 years (I have reported on this in this column over a year ago). CAHRC will be undertaking a new study in 2021 to 2023 whereby comparisons of labour wages, shortages in skilled and unskilled labour, productivity increases and diversity assessments will be conducted across Canadian agriculture and agrifoods commodities (including farmed seafood) with the goal of developing both short term and longer term attraction strategies for farm labour for a variety of commodities, including farmed seafood. The Agriworkforce, including seafood farming, lost CDN $2.9 B in 2020 owing to COVID-19 impacts alone. Download: https://cahrc-ccrha.ca/programs/agrilmi 32 |


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Congratulations!

C

ongratulations to Cooke Aquaculture on being awarded during the 2021 Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia Innovator of the Year Award. The Innovation Award acknowledges an individual, group, institution or company who has contributed to the advancement of aquaculture in Nova Scotia by the creation or application of a new technology or process.

Cooke Aquaculture and Mowi Canada East support the St. Alban’s Lions Club

M

other’s Day was celebrated differently this year in St. Alban’s. On Sunday, May 8th, St. Alban’s Lions Club members prepared takeout salmon dinners as a fundraiser which will allow the club to support important services and groups in the community. Cooke Aquaculture and Mowi Canada East generously donated the Atlantic salmon for the event.

Lion Tracey Winsor (left) collecting the generous donation of salmon from Gail Rose at the Cooke Aquaculture Processing plant in Hermitage, NL. Photo courtesy of Valerie Rose.

Lion Douglas Burke seasoning the beautiful salmon fillets in preparation for broiling. Photo credit: Conrad Collier. | 34

Trina Cribb, Mowi (left) delivering the Atlantic salmon to Lions Douglas Burke and Mike Burke. Photo courtesy of Michael Burke. Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


More details available at: www.was.org/Meeting/code/WANA2020

Spring 2021

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Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association


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