Success Story: Investing in world-leading, sustainable, fish-farming technology

Investing in world-leading, sustainable, fish-farming technology

Sustainable Blue is demonstrating its world-leading, land-based, zero-discharge fish-farming technology in the Annapolis Valley region.   Photo © 2017 Valley Regional Enterprise Network

A quest for the perfect business location led investors to the Annapolis Valley region.

by Rachel Brighton

A decade ago, Kirk Havercroft and his investment partners were searching the world for affordable, available land that could be easily and quickly developed, was close to the ocean and had access to three-phase power. They found their perfect business location on an estuary in the inner reaches of the Bay of Fundy.

The future land-based aquaculture site, in the Municipality of the District of West Hants, met all their criteria. And now new construction is underway as Sustainable Fish Farming (Canada) Ltd. expands its production capacity to meet consumer demand for sustainably-raised fish.

Kirk is chief executive officer of the enterprise, which does business under the name Sustainable Blue. It was founded by Dr. Jeremy Lee, who is president.

At the Centre Burlington site, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, premium Atlantic salmon are raised year-round and brought to market by a distributor.

The operation includes a hatchery – supplied with brood stock from Iceland – and grow-out facilities to contain the fish at various stages of maturity and to treat the recirculated water. Kirk said the only by-product of production is solid waste that is separated from the water and disposed of in the municipal land-fill.

The owners are also developing the engineering side of the proprietary aquaculture technology, so it can eventually be used under licence by other land-based fish farms.

Seven people work full-time for the business, including some who commute from the provincial capital city of Halifax.

Kirk plans to hire more people during the next 18 months. “We are looking for people who want careers with us.”

Read more about the company and its proprietary aquaculture technology here.

Rachel Brighton is Economic Development Officer (Research Lead) for the Valley REN.