Construction at GM salmon facility in Rollo Bay proceeding as planned
The summer of 2017 was a hot one in PEI, not only weather-wise but also opinion-wise, when it came to the provincial government’s approval for AquaBounty Technologies’ expansion of their Rollo Bay facility. The company’s plan is to commercially grow salmon from genetically modified eggs to market size. The approval granted on June 19, 2017 led to wide media coverage that seems to have slowed down after the summer months. Salty reached out to both AquaBounty Canada Inc. as well as to several activist groups in order to inquire about the current status of the expansion project and the opposing movement.
Dave Conley, director, corporate communications of AquaBounty Technologies Inc. informed Salty that the renovations to the existing hatchery facility (formerly known as Snow Island’s Atlantic Sea Smolt Ltd. Facility) have been completed. Construction to build broodstock and production facilities are underway with an expected completion date in the fall of this year.
When asked about the public concern with regards to the company’s expansion in PEI, Conley responded, “Our plans to commercialize the production and sale of our AquAdvantage salmon took all the concerns expressed to date into consideration. Escapes and water usage were the primary concerns. Regarding escape risks, the RAS [Recirculating Aquaculture System] facilities we are using have multiple and redundant barriers to prevent escapes of all life stages, from eggs to adult fish. The water usage in all three facilities combined will be less than in the original smolt production facility because the new RAS design recycles more than 99% of the water we use.” Read the article.