Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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Aquaculture in Atlantic Canada

Aquaculture Research

Atlantic Canadian research institutions provide leading-edge support and innovative solutions to the challenges facing the global aquaculture industry. From improved fish feeds to fish health screening to brood stock development to marine plants and the evaluation of new species for aquatic farming, aquaculture firms can access some of the most innovative thinking available. There are more than 30 organizations involved in aquaculture research and development across Atlantic Canada. Examples of dedicated facilities in each province include:

  • Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development – Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University (St. John's, N.L.) – The centre, ISO 9001:2008 certified, provides R&D services for the aquaculture and fishing industries. The centre hosts a modern facility with recirculating systems, a quarantine facility and analytical laboratories, as well as food product development and a marine (aquaculture) by-products research facility.
  • Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences – Atlantic Veterinary College (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) – A collaborative aquatic health sciences organization that champions, facilitates and coordinates aquatic health sciences research, field services and education. The goal of the centre is to increase and expand the economic value of Atlantic Canada's aquatic animal food industries.
  • Coastal Zones Research Institute (Shippagan, N.B.) – A contract research institute with partners dedicated to research across Canada and in Europe. From shellfish to finfish, the institute's scientific research and analysis contribute to the competitiveness of the aquaculture, fishing and marine products industries.
  • Nova Scotia Agricultural College (Truro, N.S.) – The college houses one of the most sophisticated water recirculating systems in Canada. It provides R&D support for the finfish and shellfish aquaculture sectors in Atlantic Canada in areas such as nutrition, animal husbandry and other aspects of the industry.
  • Ocean Sciences Centre (St. John's, N.L.) – The centre is a cold-ocean research facility at Memorial University of Newfoundland. It provides research, training, pre-commercial production and small-scale commercial trials on species for marine aquaculture.
  • Research and Productivity Council of New Brunswick (Fredericton, N.B.) – An independent ISO 9001:2008 certified R&D and technical services organization, the council provides support for fish health, product development and testing for a variety of industries, including aquaculture.
  • Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Industry Research Network (all four Atlantic provinces) – Collaboratively funded by industry and government, this is a network across Atlantic Canada with a mandate to facilitate and coordinate industry research programs, communicate R&D priorities to stakeholders and assist in providing technical support for innovative solutions for the sector.

A partial listing of aquaculture R&D and commercialization projects recently completed in Atlantic Canada may be found in the Canadian R&D Review 2011 at The list contains descriptions of innovative aquaculture research funded by a variety of organizations as well as each of the Atlantic Provinces.

A young man working on a dock 
Photo Credit: Cyr Couturier, MUN Marine Institute

In addition to the dedicated aquaculture research facilities listed above, there are many more organizations offering world-class R&D services for aquaculture in Atlantic Canada, including provincially and nationally funded research labs and all Atlantic Canadian universities, including but not limited to:

New Brunswick

  • Université de Moncton (Shippagan and Moncton)
  • University of New Brunswick (Fredericton and Saint John)
  • Mount Allison University (Sackville)
  • New Brunswick Fish Health Laboratory (St. George)
  • Huntsman Marine Sciences Centre (St. Andrews)
  • Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans (St. Andrews)
  • Gulf Fisheries Centre, Fisheries and Oceans (Moncton)

Prince Edward Island

  • University of Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary College (Charlottetown)
  • Provincial Fish Health Laboratory (Charlottetown)
  • Novartis Animal Health Canada (Victoria)
  • Aquatic Animal Pathogen and Biocontainment Laboratory, Fisheries and Oceans (Charlottetown)

Nova Scotia

  • Université Sainte-Anne (throughout the province)
  • Dalhousie University (Halifax)
  • Mount St. Vincent University (Bedford)
  • Cape Breton University (Sydney)
  • Nova Scotia Agricultural College (Truro)
  • St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish)
  • Acadia University (Wolfville)
  • Nova Scotia Fishery and Aquaculture, Aquatic Health Lab (Truro)
  • Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Bedford)

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Memorial University (St. John's and Cornerbrook)
  • Institute of Ocean Technology, National Research Council (St. John's)
  • Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (St. John's)
  • Centre for Aquaculture Health and Development (St. Alban's)
  • Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Fisheries and Oceans (St. John's)

A scientist records data from a machine 

Photo Credit: Cyr Couturier, MUN Marine Institute

If you would like more information on this sector, please contact:

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
P.O. Box 6051
Moncton, New Brunswick

Phone: 1-506-851-2271
Toll-free: 1-800-561-7862 (Canada and United States)
Fax: 1-506-851-7403


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Catalogue number: AC5-18/2011E ISBN: 978-1-100-19608-4 ACOA: 2011-12