Ontario fish farmers thank Ford government for advancing aquaculture

Ontario fish farmers thank Ford government for advancing aquaculture

July 10, 2023 — Minister Lisa Thompson (Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) gathered with 75+ fish farmers today to open a new $4.5 million expansion at the Ontario Aquaculture Research Centre in Alma.

The new Fish Quarantine Facility features a cutting-edge recirculating aquaculture system, teaching laboratories, and additional research space. It opens up new opportunities for the province’s fish farmers and researchers to collaboratively grow and diversify Ontario’s aquaculture sector, including:

  • developing new strains and species for farming, such as lake whitefish or more resilient rainbow trout strains;
  • accelerate practices, technology adoption and novel feed ingredients for farm-raised fish to adapt against climate change; and
  • train the next generation of aquaculture pioneers for industry and academia.

Minister Thompson also announced funding to the Ontario Aquaculture Association for a comprehensive growth plan for the sector. This $55,000 project will identify the total market potential for Ontario farmed rainbow trout within Ontario, Canada and the United States, and make recommendations on market opportunities based on region, product types and trends.

“Our provincial aquaculture industry is poised to supply a growing demand for nutritious Ontario fish products,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By investing in research capabilities and strategic planning, this sector is laying the foundation for further growth in an important industry that holds great potential.”

“These investments help Ontario’s aquaculture sector realize our incredible growth potential. We can grow more sustainable protein than ever before, and bring new employment to rural, northern and Indigenous communities,” said OAA board member Arlen Taylor. “Our fish farmers thank the Ontario government for championing and advancing our sector.”

“Investment in research, innovation, and supporting infrastructure leads to real, tangible successes that are making a difference for Ontario’s food producers, consumers, the economy, and the environment,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research) at the University of Guelph. “This unique facility will benefit Ontario’s vibrant and growing aquaculture sector by providing a nexus for University of Guelph researchers to create innovations that address pressing aquaculture priorities.”

The Ontario Aquaculture Research Centre is owned by the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, and it is managed by the University of Guelph through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance.




Learn More About Ontario’s Trout Industry