Net Pen Aquaculture


The net pen industry accounts for the largest production percentages over any other type of aquaculture in Canada. Net pen aquaculture, also known as cage culture, is used for raising finfish in a net suspended in the water column with a flotation system around its perimeter. The net can be hung in a square, rectangular, or circular configuration. In most cases, a farm is comprised of multiple cages moored to either the shore or uses an ocean/lake bottom anchoring system. Net pen aquaculture is very adaptable towards both freshwater and marine environments so can be found in oceans, seas, inland lakes and rivers. Where the waterbody freezes during the winter, the cages have the ability to be safely submerged to avoid ice flows during the thaw to protect the fish and infrastructure. It is very important that proper environmental assessments, including fisheries and habitat studies are done well in advance, along with proper site selection to ensure the proposed net pen farm is sustainable long term. Central Canada hosts numerous net pen aquaculture facilities, which can be found in the provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan. Net Pen aquaculture presents a very good option for many communities to consider, and when managed and sited correctly it can be an excellent option to pursue.