Do you like fish? What’s your favorite kind?
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of the Manitoba-Canadian Model Aqua-Farm Initiative. The aqua-farm is located on Rudy and Leslie Reimer’s farm near Warren, Man. Aquaculture produces more than 50 per cent of seafood consumed globally, according to Jeff Eastman, aquaculture business development specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI). Eastman feels Manitoba is an ideal location to dive into aquaculture as there’s an abundance of fresh water and farming expertise. He says the demand for fish is escalating making farmed fish more important than ever. The province hopes this project will open doors and attract more commercial development. There are also other opportunities in value-added production that can be explored.
In 2005, the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council (MRAC) identified a new gap – the Prairie aquaculture industry. Since then MRAC has taken several steps to stimulate industry and government activity in this area. And in December 2008 the provincial government jumped on board, announcing the implementation of the Manitoba-Canadian Model Aqua-Farm Initiative. The model aqua-farm initiative comprises the development and construction of a state-of-the-art, indoor, commercial, land-based, freshwater aquaculture production system intended to establish norms and baseline standards pertaining to the biological, technological, financial and environmental sustainability of aquaculture. Here are some photos from the aqua-farm tour.