Aquaculture prize for Canadian researchers
Dr. Thierry Chopin, from the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, and Dr. Shawn Robinson, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada St. Andrews Biological Station, are the recipients of the 2009 Aquaculture Association of Canada Research Award of Excellence.
The award was made for taking the concept of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) from the laboratory to the realm of commercial production. IMTA is a practice that uses an ecosystem approach to aquaculture by growing multiple species that complement each other – like finfish, mussels and seaweeds.
Through IMTA, some of the food, nutrients and energy considered lost in finfish monoculture are recaptured and converted into crops of commercial value, while biomitigation takes place.
Drs. Chopin and Robinson have always emphasized the need for scientific research and commercial IMTA to develop together. “Our goal is to produce a more efficient and environmentally benign practice that the Canadian aquaculture industry can evolve into, and that is rooted in ecosystem-based processes,” said Dr. Robinson. “All of the team’s research to-date indicates that this is entirely plausible.”
The Research Award of Excellence was recently presented to Drs. Chopin and Robinson in Nanaimo, British Columbia, during the Aquaculture Association of Canada’s annual conference. The award recognizes high quality, innovative and current research that has had a significant impact on the aquaculture industry in Canada.
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