Bluegreen Canada gets approval to build a Marine Donut in Newfoundland

An aerial view of Bluegreen's Marine Donut aquaculture concept in the water.

Bluegreen Group, which recently launched its first “Marine Donut” enclosed aquaculture system concept in Norway, has gained environmental approval to bring the concept to Newfoundland, Canada.

The company submitted environmental documentation for the project on 19 July, seeking to install a Marine Donut at an existing marine industrial site. The company announced in early October that it has successfully navigated the approval process, and is now planning construction and testing for the aquaculture concept. 

Bluegreen Canada Director Mark Lane said interest in the concept is growing in Canada.

“There are two companies that have expressed interest in partnering with us to construct a Marine Donut as a post-smolt rearing facility,” he said.

The donut is a torus-shaped closed unit made of high-density polyethylene that creates a barrier between the fish being raised inside and the surrounding ocean environment. It can serve as a solution for farming challenges by eliminating the need for delousing treatments while also allowing for higher-density farming. 

The first Marine Donut is currently being tested in Norway, on SalMar’s site outside Molde, but creating another donut in Newfoundland comes with its own set of challenges, Lane said.

"Conditions are different on this side of the Atlantic than in Norway; our water is colder in the winter and warmer in the summer,” Lane said. “I am a believer, that if we can prove that the Donut can withstand the harsh environment of Newfoundland, it will stand up to any other environment anywhere in the world.”

In advance of installing the new structure, Lane said Bluegreen Group has been proactive at managing public perceptions of the new technology.

"Over the past year, the team at Bluegreen Canada has invested heavily in stakeholder engagement, securing local community partnerships for fabrication sites, materials, equipment, labor force development, recruitment, and retention on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada,” Lane said. “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 said the company does not plan to eliminate traditional net-pen aquaculture, but rather augments it.

"We believe in sea-cage technology, as it is proven to provide the world with premium seafood for decades,” he said. “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.”  

Photo courtesy of Bluegreen Group


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