By Jeanine Moyer
Guelph – Ontario shrimp farmers could soon be going green – with algae. New research is using algae to naturally clean recirculating saltwater on shrimp farms. Still in the early development stages, the new, highly efficient process of removing nutrients and carbon dioxide from recirculating saltwater is being tested at the University of Guelph.
“It’s not a new idea,” admits Andreas Heyland, lead project researcher and integrative biology professor at the University of Guelph. “But we’ve been able to select highly efficient algae strains, which can be grown on the recirculating water.”
In-land shrimp farming has grown in Ontario in recent years with the demand for local shrimp in closer proximity to the marketplace. As a result, farmers are looking for new ways to manage nutrient build-up in the production system; conventional methods don’t produce much revenue and saltwater can’t be easily disposed in the environment. Continue reading
By Jane Robinson for AgInnovation Ontario
Campbellford – There’s no manual for farming shrimp in Ontario. No best practices or specialists to consult. But that didn’t deter the Cocchio family from taking the plunge into raising the delicate crustaceans in a former pig barn.
When the market fell out of pig farming about 10 years ago, Paul and Tracy Cocchio found themselves with three relatively new, empty barns on their Campbellford, Ontario farm.
A casual internet search for alternate uses for barns turned up shrimp farming. It peaked their interest enough to travel to the U.S. to visit a few shrimp farmers, and Paul took an Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) workshop on trout farming.
As the Cocchios pondered their options, they factored in the untapped market opportunities for Ontario-grown shrimp.
“Shrimp is the number one imported seafood in North America, and we knew that nearly every restaurant between Toronto and Ottawa has shrimp on the menu,” said Brad Cocchio, who runs the operation with his wife Jordan, and his parents Paul and Tracy. Continue reading
left to right: Undergraduate student Eric Chadwick, graduate student Shaker Bukhari and Prof. Wael Ahmed at the University of Guelph School of Engineering
By Matt McIntosh for AgInnovation Ontario
Guelph – A new pump that uses air to circulate water is being developed at the University of Guelph, and it could make some favorable waves in the aquaculture industry.
Known as the Airlift Pump, the device is intended to replace costly and energy-hungry circulation machinery at both inland and open-water fish farms. It’s versatile, energy efficient, and even has some unintended and rather positive side effects on water quality.
According to principal researcher Wael Ahmed, associate professor at Guelph’s School of Engineering, the Airlift Pump is an aeration system using a specially designed dual air injector, and runs using the physics of buoyancy. Continue reading
(L to R) Brooke Marion, Dr. Chris Murray and Kayla Snyder
By Lisa McLean for AgInnovation Ontario
Thunder Bay – There’s a naturally-occurring material found in discarded shells from crab and shrimp that offers properties with promising industrial uses.
Now, a researcher at Lakehead University is studying the material, and exploring potential for a broad range of applications ranging from wastewater treatment to better pavement.
Dr. Chris Murray studies the properties of chitosan – a naturally occurring long sugar molecule that is found in nearly all invertebrates.
“Chitosan plays a role in many animals that have exoskeletons,” says Murray. “It can be really tough and it provides a lot of physical strength for organisms.” Continue reading
Dr. Andressa Lacerda
By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario
Peterborough – Local researchers have developed several strains of algae that can clean waste water as well as serve as a potential livestock superfood.
Nobletech Inc.’s Noble Purification division is currently piloting its algae-based clean water technology, and Noble Biotech has developed sustainable animal feed that is high in protein and omega fatty acids. The company is part of the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster.
“Our core technology for both of these applications is the algae product itself,” explains Dr. Andressa Lacerda, a recent Ph.D. graduate of Trent’s environmental and life sciences program. “We’re algae farmers, and we grow algae with different purposes.” Continue reading