In a clearing near Port McNeill, an experiment is under way. Inside an unassuming steel-clad building, thousands of Atlantic salmon swim in circular tanks.
When those fish are big enough – in about 12 months, when they have grown from 100-gram smolts to between three to five kilograms in weight – they will be harvested, having never touched the ocean. Their waste will be processed into garden soil. Water, almost all of which is recirculated, comes from nearby wells and the plant is highly automated.
“Our three major costs are feed, smolts and labour,” Jo Mrozewski, a spokeswoman for Kuterra Limited Partnership, said during a recent tour of the facility. “So we do what we can to try to break all of those [processes] down and the automation is part of reducing those costs.”
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