Sample Projects

Aquaculture Science and Technology for Newfoundland and Labrador Youth

In 2010-2011, the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, in collaboration with the Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD) received support from the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development to complete a project called "Aquaculture Science and Technology for Newfoundland and Labrador Youth."

The project, targeting senior high school students and teachers, developed aquaculture resources including online material, career profiles and provided visits to several schools by aquaculture personnel. It was the first time aquaculture resources related to the Newfoundland and Labrador curriculum was made accessible to students and teachers.

A second project entitled "Aquaculture Awareness - Talking with Youth" is currently underway to enhance awareness of resources developed, discuss social, technological, and environmental issues related to the aquaculture industry and explore potential employment opportunities in this growing sector in our province.

Regional schools representing areas where salmon and mussel farms are thriving are also being visited to provide interactive activities with students and teachers.

Assessment of Snow Crab Handling Practices

CASD conducted an assessment on behalf of the Torngat Fisheries and Wildlife Secretariat to examine current handling practices in Nunatsiavut during the snow crab fishery in July 2011. CASD personnel travelled to Makkovic to conduct interviews with fishers, and collect samples of snow crab to be graded according to condition.

The project objective were to:

  • assess current practices that reduce unnecessary mortality of soft shell crab and commercially sized crab
  • assess handling procedures of crab to improve quality for market

CASD personnel also took part in a workshop held in Nain in November 2011 where the results of this assessment were presented to the fishery participants and the Torngat Secretariat.

Developing Eco-Friendly Technologies to Extract Chitin and Chitosan

In 2010 Newfoundland and Labrador produced in excess of 100,000 metric tonnes of waste from the fishing and aquaculture industries. Shrimp and crab processing discards accounted for more than 79 percent of this waste.

Commercial production of derivatives from these discards, including chitin and chitosan, has enormous potential economic value in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries.

CASD has been working to advance chitin extraction and chitosan conversion technologies for specific applications to shrimp and crab species native to Newfoundland and Labrador. Chemical extraction and conversion technologies may render chitosan unsuitable for biomedical applications and create environmental pollution.

Physical methods to extract chitin are promising, but its ability to obtain high purified yields is challenging. Enzymatic methods produce high grade chitosan, but at a high production cost.

CASD's research suggests that a better approach may be to combine physical, chemical and enzymatic methods to develop a more environmentally friendly and less expensive process than using chemicals or enzymes alone.

Fish Oil Biodiesel Research

For the past decade, CASD has been working with aquaculture and seafood processors to develop environmentally friendly and cost effective methods to use and/or reduce wastes from farming and processing operations. In recent years there has been a growing interest to use waste fish oils as biofuel/biodiesel to offset diesel consumption, decrease fuel costs and reduce waste material.

In January 2012 the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture announced funding for CASD to establish a demonstration bio-refinery that will convert fish oils into biodiesel. This project will build on CASD's previous research efforts.

However, this research is unique in that it will extract local marine waste from available stocks of offal such as salmonid aquaculture, cod ranching industries, pelagics and the sealing industry and convert it into biodiesel. This project will enable CASD to tackle challenges of converting marine oils into biodiesel while developing a marine waste oil biodiesel production system specifically engineered for the unique situation in Newfoundland and Labrador.