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VIU is inviting shellfish industry stakeholders who are interested in coming together to assist the BC Shellfish industry in addressing the issues of ocean acidification and improving hatchery and nursery technology. VIU with assistance from the Western Economic Diversification Research Readiness Program is completing the construction of what we are calling the Next-Gen Shellfish Hatchery Project. This project has resulted in a state of the art research platform that can test equipment methodology and techniques as well as providing training and design examples. We are organizing a small workshop to review ocean acidification, the capabilities of this new platform and have an industry discussion about moving forward.
The goal of this meeting will be to determine whether there is sufficient interest in forming a research consortium or other entity to leverage industry support and move forward with related research projects
- Tour of new Research Hatchery Platform – Brian Kingzett (VIU)
- Ocean Acidification and recent advances in research – Wiley Evans (Hakai Institute)
- Results of recent OA monitoring and Shellfish Health Research – Helen Gurney-Smith (VIU)
- Discussion regarding industry needs and potential for moving forward
About the Next-Gen Shellfish Hatchery Project
Commercial shellfish hatcheries are knowledge intensive, multi-component, highly integrated facilities. Technological advances continue worldwide in key individual components of hatchery systems (e.g. algal lighting and food production systems; hygiene and pasteurization technologies, water treatment and especially in water quality monitoring systems), yet no facility in BC has integrated the available advances into an operating hatchery. BC needs to develop the “next generation” hatchery systems and operational protocols which embrace these new technologies to increase seed production certainty, increase total seed production, improve efficiencies, reduce costs and enhance environmental performance.
This project seeks to advance shellfish hatchery design to a next generation level; incorporate within this “nextgen” design, monitoring and mitigation technologies to address ocean acidification (OA); transfer this technology information to shellfish industry stakeholders, and; apply this knowledge to bridge the gap in shellfish hatchery production to address the seed crisis in the BC industry. We are not developing specific new technologies but rather doing a global aggregation of new technologies and best practices that we will then be testing and demonstrating in a very public way.
At the immediate level we will be attempting to act as the “consumer reports” of shellfish hatchery and nursery equipment where we will report publicly on new technologies, how they work, operating costs, and in some cases side by side comparisons e.g. algal culture systems. This is very practical information that will give confidence to individuals setting up new hatcheries or renovating existing facilities. Interested parties will literally be able to come in and see items demonstrated in real world conditions. This platform will also allow us to train the next generation of hatchery operators. We will need to generate additional research funds in order to conduct the work. We will do this through partnerships with industry, government, other research institutions and scientists.