Cermaq Canada farmed Atlantic salmon grows in some of the wildest, cleanest waters on earth. The strong tides and West Coast climate are good for Cermaq Canada's Atlantic salmon, keeping them strong and healthy. This makes them some of the finest, best-quality fish you can find in the grocery store. "We produce exclusively head-on, gutted salmon that are always fresh," says Grant Warkentin, Communications Manager, Cermaq Canada in Campbell River, British Columbia.
"We produced Quality natural salmon." To produce the highest quality, natural salmon, Cermaq Canada has a strong focus on genetic integrity. "We choose fish that grow quickly and are best suited to our farming conditions to become the broodstock that will produce the next generation of our salmon. We keep close track of all our salmon's genetic roots, traceable by DNA." The beauty is, Cermaq Canada's proximity to the United States means that "it can take as little as 24 hours for our salmon to go from our farm to your plate."
"Farming practices include 14 months in fresh water." Before the salmon are released into their seawater pens, they spend fourteen months in fresh water in Cermaq Canada's land-based hatcheries, which mimic the creek beds where wild salmon lay their eggs. "There, our hatchery workers constantly monitor the eggs, removing all but the best to become the smolt that will be transported to our seawater pens.
"The locations of our seawater farm sites are carefully selected to give our fish the best environment in which to grow. The pens have predator nets to protect the salmon, and although we grow up to half a million fish at a time, our pens are kept at low capacity – around 3 percent – allowing the fish to school and swim at various speeds.
"Our highly trained and skilled employees take responsibility for all aspects of life on the site, including feeding, measuring and weighing the fish, testing and reporting on water quality and sea lice counts, performing quality controls and administrative work. Underwater cameras give us information about how the salmon are feeding so we can adjust the feed to suit their appetite."
More than half of Cermaq Canada's production takes place on Clayoquot Sound, in the territory of the Ahousaht First Nation, "with which we have a protocol agreement. Many of our farmers, who live and work on site, are members of the Ahousaht First Nation."
Cermaq Atlantic salmon are produced under Certification. as Cermaq Canada is certified under ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000 and OHSAS 18001. Warkentin says, "We also hold certifications from OSSE, BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices), The Aboriginal Principles for Sustainable Aquaculture and ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Alliance)."
Learn more by watching 'From Egg to Plate' "How do we get the freshest, top-quality salmon to your plate? Find out in this video series produced at Cermaq Canada farms."