Land-based salmon farm proposed for Grande-Anse
Fish would spend their entire lives — from eggs to harvest — on land
A Maisonette company is proposing to build a completely land-based salmon aquaculture business on the site of a vacant lobster processing plant in Grande-Anse on the Acadian Peninsula.
In an environmental impact assessment application to the province, RC Organic Northern Products Inc. says the fish would be hatched from eggs and grown to adult size in the plant.
An existing building on the Route 11 site would be used as the hatchery for the operation, while a new, 100-metre-long building would be constructed to house the fish in saltwater tanks until they are "grown to market size and harvested."
There are currently no completely land-based Atlantic salmon aquaculture operations in New Brunswick.
Huge operation proposed for Maine
Sustainable Blue in Centre Burlington, N.S., has been producing fish on land for a number of years.
Meanwhile, a Norwegian company, Nordic Aquafarms, which has land-based salmon operations in Norway and Denmark, has applied to build a massive, $500 million US plant in Belfast, Maine.
Service New Brunswick lists Romeo Cormier of Maisonette as sole director of RC Organic Northern. He could not be reached Thursday for comment.
The application notes the project will require a suitable supply of fresh groundwater to be feasible and, as of September, is awaiting the results of hydrogeological investigations.
The company would employ between five and 10 people full time, producing 300,000 to 400,000 kilograms of salmon annually.
The fish would be processed off site after harvesting.
While there would be relatively few workers, Grand-Anse Mayor Gilles Theriault has been briefed by Cormier and is pleased with what he's hearing about the project.
"I think it's a good news story, myself," said Theriault.
Mayor sees fewer risks on land
He expects a strong demand for the end product, which would originate in a facility where saltwater would be recycled, filtered and treated before being discharged into the Bay of Chaleur.
There would also be no danger of the farmed salmon escaping to mate with wild Atlantic salmon stocks.
"Environmentally, we're not particularly preoccupied," he said.
The mayor believes work could begin on the aquaculture operation as soon as next year.