Advancing Ocean Innovation to Protect B.C.’s Environment

British Columbia is home to dozens of companies developing, piloting, and producing leading edge ocean technology that is in demand around the world.

In 2019, the BC Salmon Farmers Association launched the sector’s inaugural Technology Report. Now, two years later, so much positive progress has been made. Our 2021 Technology Update explores transition technology advancements being made right now on B.C.’s coast.

Today, here at home on B.C.’s coast we are:

Piloting Semi-Closed Containment Technology

BC’s salmon farmers are trialing floating, semi-closed containment systems. Semi-closed containment technology separate farm-raised fish from the ocean environment by surrounding the traditional salmon farm netting system with an impermeable barrier. That minimize the interaction between farm-raised and wild salmon, limiting the transfer of sea lice and pathogens. So far, the results have been encouraging. In Norway, Cermaq has been trialing the semi-closed system since 2017 and fish have improved health, growth, and required no treatments for sea lice.

Innovating Ocean Farming Systems

Today, ocean farms in B.C. are engineered to meet global best-practice standards set by Norway. These standards include technology and materials used at ocean farm sites – specific sites must be capable of withstanding maximum severe weather event forces the site would experience once-in-50-years. Since the standards have been introduced in Norway, fish escapes due to complete ocean farm failures have been eliminated.

Advancing Feeding Systems through AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Artificial Intelligence is being deployed at B.C. salmon farms to integrate feeding information with data provided by sensors that monitor oxygen, water temperature, and salinity. By leaning on artificial intelligence, feeding is optimized based on fish behaviour and ocean conditions – thereby limiting human error and interference. This technology has proven itself out with Mowi Canada West, which have deployed a centralized Feed Centre to deliver more precise and consistent feeding practices by utilizing dedicated staff who are 100% focused on feed – without the distraction of daily farm tasks or the risks of travelling to sites in dangerous weather.

Spearheading Sea Lice Prevention

  • Wild and Farm-raised Salmon Sea Lice Data Base

    BC salmon farmers have now created a repository for this extensive BC sea lice data set, which will include data from both industry operations and wild salmon sampling. Ongoing analysis of this data will expand the knowledge of the impact of sea lice on wild and farm-raised salmon, thereby informing future management and mitigation strategies.


  • Post-Smolt Strategies

    Raising juveniles on land to larger sizes before transfer to the ocean can reduce the time that farm-raised salmon spend in the marine environment from the current 2 years down to a single year. By using this “hybrid” production strategy, BC salmon farmers are able to reap the clear benefits of ocean-based grow-out, yet significantly lower the length of time that the salmon spend in the ocean, effectively reducing production and environmental challenges related to sea lice infestation and potential interactions with wild salmon.

...and so much more

Read our Innovation and Technology Report to learn more about:

2021 Innovation and Technology Update

2019 Innovation and Technology Report

2021 Innovation and Technology Update

2019 Innovation and Technology Report