David Suzuki helps develop insect-based fish food

Long a vocal critic of B.C.’s conventional fish-farming industry, environmentalist David Suzuki has helped create a new product being tested as feed for farmed salmon.

Suzuki and Brad Marchant, CEO of the Vancouver-based start-up company Enterra, coined the idea of using maggots fed on food waste to create a sustainable source of protein while fly fishing in Yukon.

“For years we’ve been fighting salmon aquaculture, not because we are against aquaculture, but we felt that [conventional] aquaculture was the wrong way to do it,” Suzuki told The Vancouver Sun. “First of all, the salmon are grown in open nets, so you are using the ocean as a sewer. Closed containment is the way it has to go.”

Suzuki said he would oppose using the feed in open-net salmon aquaculture.

“I would not like that at all,” said Suzuki. “I think it should be used, with vision, in hard containers, but I think that [technology] is coming.”

“I wouldn’t be happy, but I guess it’s better than fish meal,” he said.

Recent advances in closed containment fish farming have begun to address some of the effects of salmon farms on wild salmon, predators and the marine environment, but feed remains problematic.


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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

2 responses to “David Suzuki helps develop insect-based fish food”

  1. knewaquaculture says :

    Going on from maggots now there are huge plans for a large scale fly farm in south Africa with the sole purpose of providing cheap protein source for fish feed. – Nice post!

  2. Barbra & Jack Donachy says :

    It is very wrong to think that the problem with farmed salmon can be solved by changing their diet, or that there is some technological “advancement” that will make them an ethical, sustainable alternative to wild salmon. Some aquaculture is good (sustainable, responsible, ethical). Salmon farming is None of these things; there is no way to farm salmon without harming wild salmon. Period.
    When we, as consumers, purchase a serving of wild or wild-caught salmon, we are investing in an entire ecosystem that includes all the wildlife that feed on salmon and the salmon forests that are fertilized by salmon. Cheap farmed salmon undermine the value of these ecosystems. For example, right now a multi-national corporation is lobbying and lobbying hard to open the Bristol Bay watershed to a vast mining operation that will surely destroy salmon habitat. THE ONLY thing keeping this operation – the notorious Pebble Mine – from opening is the fact that millions of people are against it because, like us, they are stake-holders in healthy populations of wild fish.
    Take away the value of wild fish, as farmed salmon do, and you take away the value of the ecosystems they are part of. We don’t know who David Suzuki is… not a very big-picture thinker is the most generous observation we can make. Another guy who is willing to set aside ethics and sustainability to join the farmed salmon economic parade seems to fit.

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