Salmon Farm Reef

This project seeks to understand the structure and function of the salmon farm infrastructure as an artificial reef as demonstrated by its wide diversity of wild species.

Project Dates: June 2016 – September 2018
Funding Amount: $99,450

A ‘reef’ community growing on fish farm infrastructure in the Discovery Islands.

Project Summary

This project seeks to develop a clear understanding of the structure and function of the established salmon farm as a floating “reef”, recognizing that these systems interact with wild populations and are used by a wide variety of invertebrate, seaweeds, and marine fishes. This integration with nature has many positive aspects but also has the potential to affect farm operations and fish health. The information gathered from this research will be used to support ongoing development and evaluation of mitigation strategies for organic and inorganic waste loads, and potentially to support concerns and processes that affect fish health management issues.



The Salmon Farm: A Floating Ecosystem

Project Abstract

The Structure and Function of “The Salmon Farm Reef”

Research Team

Dr. Stephen Cross
Dr. Stephen Cross, Lead Researcher
As our NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture, Dr. Cross led our applied research program in this sector. With over 30 years of regional, national and international consulting and research experience in aquaculture, Dr. Cross contributed an extensive knowledge base to NIC.
Allison Byrne
Allison Byrne, Researcher
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.


Project Outcomes

Through this project a new rapid screening assay was developed and collaborations formed with other scientists to further investigate oyster survival challenges.