Sea Pact announces funding for three new aquaculture projects

Published on
June 14, 2018

Sea Pact, an association of ten North American seafood companies, announced on World Oceans Day – 8 June – that they have chosen three research projects for funding. 

The three projects are all aimed at improving aquaculture operations in various parts of the world: Shrimp farming in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, and the farming of Atlantic salmon. 

“We congratulate the selected organizations and look forward to game-changing results from these projects which all have a strong relevance for creating positive change for our industry and for the sustainability of the oceans,” Seattle Fish Co. CEO and chair of the Sea Pact Advisory Council Hamish Walker said.

The first grant recipient is an Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC) project to assess and improve black tiger shrimp fisheries in Vietnam and Indonesia. Black tiger shrimp use wild-caught broodstock to supply seeds for culture, and that fishery is considered overfished by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

Despite that assessment, little is being done to improve the fishery, Walker said.

“This project seeks to utilize the ASIC fishery improvement protocol to assess and improve the sustainability of black tiger shrimp fisheries and help shrimp aquaculture producers ensure their industry is more sustainable,” the Sea Pact announcement said. “Its uniqueness is that its aim is to improve both a fishery and also an aquaculture industry as well.”

The second grant recipient is a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership’s project focused on creating a tool that will improve regional water quality management and protection of water resources that are essential to aquaculture. 

“They will do this by adapting a tool developed for salmon net pen industry planning to the context of pond-based shrimp aquaculture in Asia,” Sea Pact said. “The test of a simple, cost effective approach to assessing water quality of shared water bodies for shrimp farming will be piloted in Thailand, with the aim of developing a model that could be applied more broadly.”

The final project renews funding for a British Columbia Center for Aquatic Health Sciences research project seeking a way to mitigate sea lice within the net-pen farmed salmon industry. The project seeks to use native perch as cleaner fish, for a non-chemical, low-stress method of managing lice. 

“The development of this effective tool aims to reduce the use of chemical treatments and to significantly reduce the environmental impact on the marine environment,” Sea Pact said.

Rob Johnson, managing director of Sea Pact, said the organization was thrilled to announce the grants on World Oceans Day. 

“Watch for more funding announcements on fisheries projects to be forthcoming soon, as well as the opening of the seventh round of request for project funding grant proposals later this summer,” Johnson said. 

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