Water leaving hatchery can sustain sea life
This smaller scale of operation is also reflected in the amount of waste the hatchery will produce. Most of the waste will be material filtered from the intake seawater prior to its use in the tanks and from the outflow seawater prior to its return to Mortier Bay. Marbase estimates this will create eight tonnes of sludge per month, which is small in comparison to a commercial salmon hatchery. The company’s waste management plan will explore all opportunities to use this source of organic material, including as agricultural fertilizer.
Both the seawater entering and leaving the hatchery will be treated. The temperatures will be adjusted, and the water will be filtered and purified. Seawater leaving the hatchery will be treated to a standard that supports marine life. Regular monitoring of water quality will ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
Sales will take place dockside at Marbase or at the truck loading bay at Marbase.
Building on Memorial University’s expertise
This project continues to expand on capabilities that already exist at Memorial University and is the final step in converting university-led research into a viable commercial enterprise. In this sense, it is not a new undertaking. The effects of introducing lumpfish into sea cages have already been considered as part of Grieg NL’s environmental impact statement. In addition, Memorial researchers have been providing lumpfish to local salmon farmers for the last few years.
The hatchery will operate year-round as a permanent facility. Staff will be present on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week schedule. Most activities will occur during the daylight hours. Peak activity will occur when egg fertilization and incubation happens each spring and when lumpfish are sold.
The hatchery hopes to have its first sales in spring 2021.
A biological approach to a biological problem
The potential positive effects are impressive, especially for the finfish aquaculture industry through the potential elimination of pesticides. It is clear this biological approach to a biological problem will create a net environmental benefit.