Bluegreen Canada has recently announced that they receive environmental approval to build their closed containment system, the Marine Donut, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The location is an existing marine industrial site identified in their proposal, including those located at Bay Bulls, Harbour Breton, Harbour Grace, Argentia, and Marystown. With the approval in place, the construction and testing are currently being planned.
Mark Lane, Director of Bluegreen Canada, explained: “There are two companies that have expressed interest in partnering with us to construct a Marine Donut as a post smolt rearing facility,” Lane says. The construction of the Marine Donut is scheduled to start in Spring of 2024, and be completed in 2025.
The aim is to prove that the Marine Donut is an effective piece of infrastructure for farming salmon in a very harsh environment in the North Atlantic.
“The first Marine Donut is currently being tested in Norway, on SalMar’s site outside Molde. But the conditions are different on this side of the Atlantic than in Norway; our water is colder in the winter and warmer in the summer. I am believer, that if we can prove that the Donut can withstand the harsh environment of Newfoundland,” reasons Lane, “it will stand up to any other environment anywhere in the world.”
Leading growth region for farming Atlantic salmon
Newfoundland and Labrador is Canada’s leading growth region for farming Atlantic salmon, and the industry has become an important provider of local jobs in rural coastal communities. But like any farming sector anywhere else in the world, the industry faces biological and environmental challenges. For Bluegreen Canada, the solution for some farmers’ challenges may be their closed containment system, the Marine Donut.
Thrilled by the prospect
The comprehensive Environmental Registration document submitted by Bluegreen Canada outlines such items as thorough project planning and design details; how Bluegreen Canada and the Marine Donut intends to maximize environmental protection during construction and operation; enhancing government coordination, accountability and information exchange with all stakeholders; and facilitating permitting and regulatory approval of projects, etc.
As environmental enthusiasts with a strong background in sustainable aquaculture and marine conservation, they are thrilled by the prospect of implementing a closed containment system that addresses environmental concerns with aquaculture.
Communication, collaboration and public engagement
Bluegreen Canada believes that effective communication, collaboration and public engagement is paramount to project success and has been utmost to such a quick turn-around on their approval.
“Over the past year, the team at Bluegreen Canada has invested heavily in stakeholder engagement, securing local community partnerships for fabrication sites, materials, equipment, labour force development, recruitment and retention etc. on both the Atlantic and Pacific coast of Canada. We are most importantly conducting deep dialog with industry on both coasts to determine how the Marine Donut can strategically augment their existing operations to increase production of Atlantic salmon in Canada”, Lane says.
“We believe in sea cage technology as it is proven to provide the world with premium seafood for decades. We also believe in the experienced farmers who use the technology and the communities that benefit from salmon farming. In consultation with First Nations, industry, governments at all levels, NGOs and communities, we also believe that the Marine Donut has a place in Canada to assist farmers to continue grow sustainable seafood for the future”, he finished.