Sustainable Aquaculture

Our 10-year applied research program in Sustainable Aquaculture was initiated in 2013 and comprises two phases. The first (2013-2018) included partners from the BC Salmon Farmers Association, focussed on the development of automated water quality instrumentation for climate/ocean change monitoring and explored the potential of co-culturing kelp (as nutrient extraction species) adjacent to salmon farm operations.

The 2018-2023 phase of our research furthers our research with seaweed aquaculture, assessing the technical and socio-economic aspects of co-culture with a variety of shellfish species (cockle, geoduck, scallops, sea cucumbers) and the inherent ecosystem services marine plants provide – ocean acidification, carbon and nutrient sequestration. The current phase of our research includes First Nation partners from the BC Central Coast to south, west, and north Vancouver Island. We have also engaged BC Timber Sales in this initiative.

Research Team

Stephen F. Cross, PhD.– As our NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture, Dr. Cross leads our applied research program in this sector. With over 30 years of regional, national and international consulting and research experience in aquaculture, Dr. Cross brings an extensive knowledge base to NIC. His ongoing collaborations with industry, coastal communities and with regional universities furthers our capacity to provide applied research to the North Island. For more information on our Applied Research Initiatives in Coastal Aquaculture, please contact Dr. Stephen Cross at or 250-923-9751.

Allison Byrne, M.Sc. – As a Research Associate to our Coastal Aquaculture program, Allie joined the team in 2016 and is working with Dr. Cross on several aspects of the research. She learned the value of collaborative aquaculture research through her Master’s degree from the University of Victoria, part of a Canada-wide research network made possible through partnerships with industry, government, and academia.

Research Program Support

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