Urban Aquaculture

Background – Urban Agriculture 

The RUAF Foundation provides an excellent explanation of what urban agriculture is:

 Urban agriculture can be defined shortly as the growing of plants and the raising of animals within and around cities. The most striking feature of urban agriculture, which distinguishes it from rural agriculture, is that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system: urban agriculture is embedded in -and interacting with- the urban ecosystem.

The RUAF Foundation is an international network in which optimum use is made of the relative strength of each of its member organisations. RUAF is a global partnership on sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems. 

Expansion of population combined with the inherit limitations on available space and natural resources, continues to drive the need to expand food farming into non traditional areas using improved technologies and farming methods.

KCC Urban Farm

Kingsborough Community College Urban Farm – New York City


Urban Aquaculture – Fish Farming

Closed containment land-based aquaculture is considered to be one of the preferred technologies for meeting the need for quality fish protein. Global fishing stocks are collapsing in many areas and they are fished to the maximum in many others. These wild stocks are no longer capable of meeting the world’s demand for nutritious fish and seafood.  It is clear that we must farm more fish and that we must do so in a more sustainable and eco-friendly manner, than we presently doing.

Consumers are increasingly demanding a cost-competitive, safe, reliable food supply which is appealing, nutritious, and grown using minimal environmental impact methods. Farming of fish and plants together in a closed system offers an advanced and most eco-friendly method to help meet this demand.

Indoor contained fish farm

Indoor Fish Farm – Columbia County city of Hudson

Land based Closed Containment Aquaculture is farming method where fish are raised in tanks which effectively limits the exchange between farms and the natural environment. This significantly reduces pollution, fish escapes, negative wildlife interactions, and parasite and disease transfer from farms to marine and freshwater ecosystems or vice a versa.

This David Suzuki Foundation report examines the economic rationale for shifting the environmentally unsustainable open-netcage aquaculture industry (implicated in disease transfer, pollution, harm to wild fish populations and a global net loss of fish used in feed) towards a more sustainable, closed-tank model.

The David Suzuki Foundation  collaborates with Canadians from all walks of life, including government and business, to conserve our environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through science-based research, education and policy work. The foundation is a vocal supporter of land based fish farming

Atlantic salmon farmed in recirculating aquaculture systems is a “Best Choice” for consumers. These on-land production systems separate the salmon from the surrounding environment and thereby lower the risk of environmental impacts from pollution, escapes, and disease. From SeaChoice.org . Arctic Char and trout raised in such systems are also best choices.

The most advanced land based fish farms utilize state of the art technology called Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS). This is a new age land-based fish farming method, has the flexibility to be fully operational in any environment. Highlights and benefits of RAS designs include:

  • Fully controllable year round constant farming and harvesting process designed to regularly produce fresh fish and produce on a consistent year-round basis. Scalable in scope to the operator and location siting requirements.
  • Safe production of premium seafood products that have widespread acceptance for quality. Wholesome chemical free fish is assured, that isn’t genetically modified.
  • Prevention of disease by bio-security measures without the use of antibiotics or chemical treatment. This same security measures also prevent escapement of fish stock.
  • These are totally contained farms located on land that capture and re purpose all fish manure while cleaning and reusing over 97% of all water.
  • Amenable to producing a wide variety of plant products using natural nutrient rich by-products reclaimed  from the waste water streams of fish production.
  • Utilizes Eco-friendly Green technologies in safe, secure, fully contained environments that can be housed within existing or new buildings.
  • A RAS farm maintains a Low environmental impact and requires only a small footprint, yet produces remarkable amounts of food, when compared to traditional methods.
  • These facilities can be located in large urban centres, in rural communities or near existing commercial facilities that have synergistic infrastructure and/or under utilized resources that can be put to beneficial use to generate revenue. Example: Environmental control using waste heat from other facilities.

Urban Manitoba Potential

Manitoba has some of the most affordable industrial properties in Canada. Industrial properties are available in Winnipeg and many other cities and towns throughout the province. Winnipeg’s industrial parks are conveniently located near major transport facilities and properties in other Manitoba cities and towns have convenient highway access. More on Winnipeg Competitive Advantages 

The Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor consists of a series of interconnected transportation systems—including rail, road, air and marine options—running through the centre of North America from the Arctic Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba and through the American heartland to Mexico. Over $10 billion in annual two-way trade occurs between Manitoba and the U.S.

Winnipeg is a critical transportation centre between Vancouver and Toronto, and it’s the only major city between Thunder Bay and Vancouver with direct rail connections to the United States. The city also boasts a celebrated new airport that continues to win accolades, and some of Canada’s biggest trucking firms are headquartered here.

Manitoba has the lowest electrical rates in the country and among the lowest in North America. The Province boasts a long history of agriculture and is home to many support industries and research facilities. One of the few Certified disease free Arctic Char breeding is located only 40 Minutes North of Winnipeg.  The city is home to modern seafood processing facilities that have established distribution marketing networks with worldwide reach.

The IRAFS team is reviewing several location within the cities of Winnipeg and Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, to determine the  suitably of existing buildings and  infrastructure for development of a commercial scale closed containment fish farm facility with aquaponics growing systems. We are also forming an investment group and anticipate finalizing the design and operational plans in the near future.  Significant markets for all of the planned production have been identified and the initial disease free stock supply for the farm has been secured within the province. To learn more Contact Us using this form.