3.1 Extension services in the region
3.2 Training of extension agents
3.3 Seed production facilities in the region
3.4 Manufacture of feed in the region
3.5 Manufacturers of equipment for the industry
3.6 Other services for the industry
3.7 Local credit programmes
3.8 Trade publications for producers
Five years ago there were very few extension workers involved in aquaculture in Canada at the provincial or even federal level. Since then the situation has changed and, although there are still not enough facilities or trained specialists to keep pace with growth in the sector, the need for a strong extension service in Canada has been recognized. The extension workers presently available are usually assigned to federal or provincial fisheries or natural resources agencies, and at educational institutions. Most extension workers are university trained.
In British Columbia extension services and specialists are provided by the federal Aquaculture and Commercial Fisheries Branch (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries). Extension services and specialists are also located in Malaspina College, University of British Columbia's Department of Bio-Resources Engineering, University of Victoria (in association with Bamfield Marine Station) and Simon Fraser University's Institute for Aquaculture Research (workshops and short courses).
In Manitoba limited extension services and specialists are available from the Department of Natural Resources (Fisheries Branch) and from the Freshwater Institute of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
In Saskatchewan limited extension services and specialists are available in the Saskachewan Research Council.
Extension services and specialists in Ontario are located in the Fish Culture Section of the Ministry of Natural Resources, as well as within the University of Guelph's Departments of Nutrition, Zoology, Pathology, and School of Continuing Education. A Fish Farmers' Extension Centre opened in late 1988 at the University of Guelph; it provides a focus of expertise for commercial fish growers in Ontario, and helps governments and researchers to better understand the needs of the industry. Sir Sandford Fleming College also has limited services and specialists in aquaculture extension.
In Quebec the Ministry of Recreation, Wildlife and Fisheries has limited extension services and specialists in fish culture.
Extension services and specialists in Nova Scotia are provided by the Scotia-Fundy Regional Office and the Fish Health Laboratory (both of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans), and the provincial Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Office in Halifax. The University of Dalhousie and the Technical University of Nova Scotia also have expertise and services in aquaculture extension. In Newfoundland limited extension services and personnel are available through the federal and provincial offices of the Departments of Fisheries.
New Brunswick is much better supplied with aquaculture extension services and specialists. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans provides such services and personnel through its Gulf Region Office and its Salmonid Demonstration and Development Farm. The purpose of the farm is to facilitate the transfer of salmonid sea cage culture technology to the developing aquaculture industry in the Bay of Fundy. Atlantic salmon are used in a variety of performance tests and in evaluations of new equipment, management strategies, feeds and stocks. The farm provides demonstrations of workable practices and techniques and gives salmonid farmers hands-on experience in new technology. Aquaculture extension is also offered through the University of New Brunswick's Department of Biology and the Marine Research Group.
Extension services and specialists in Prince Edward Island are available through the PEI Department of Fisheries, the Aquaculture Technology Programme of Holland College, and the University of Prince Edward Island. In May 1987 the University opened its Atlantic Veterinary College which offers excellent extension personnel and services for the fish farmers of the four Atlantic provinces (PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick).
In the USA aquaculture extension services and specialists are provided to the industry as part of the Extension Service of the US Department of Agriculture. The Extension Service provides educational programmes through the State Cooperative Extension offices nation-wide. Extension workers interpret new aquaculture research, adapt the technology to local needs, and make the information available to all users. They inform scientists of research needs as identified by aquaculturists at the local level. Ongoing extension educational programmes in aquaculture include: economics; water management; stocking; feeding; disease identification, prevention, and control; weed control; predator control; hatchery, pond, and reservoir management; harvesting; transportation; marketing and processing; on-site pilot testing and demonstrations; workshops and in-service training of professional and technical aquaculturists; and consumer education on the nutritional value of aquaculture products.
State extension specialists are usually university graduates and most are attached to fisheries departments of state organizations or to university departments. In 1986 there were at least 400 State Extension Specialists throughout all 50 states, designed to receive and provide aquaculture information.
Extension specialists in Canada and the USA are usually university graduates in a biological science (including food technology). A number of Canadian and US universities and institutions offer specialized aquaculture courses and training where extension agents can receive short- and long-term training (see 4.1).
At least a hundred private/commercial seed production facilities are operational in Canada, mainly for trout and to a much lesser extent for salmon and oysters (see Canadian Aquaculture Buyer's Guide 1988 for full details).
There are over a hundred federal and provincial hatcheries across Canada, producing hundreds of millions of eggs and juvenile fish for stocking and enhancement programmes.
For most of the major commercially farmed species in the USA it is possible to obtain hatchery produced 'seed' as required. Over a thousand commercial facilities (hatcheries, farms, dealers and companies) produce and sell eggs, seed, fingerlings, fry, juveniles, post larvae and broodstock for the entire range of farmed species in the USA (see Aquaculture Magazine Buyer's Guide, 1988 for full details).
In addition, state and federal hatcheries number in the hundreds and are found in all 50 states. Most of their production is for stocking/enhancement programmes, both for commercial and recreational fishermen.
Manufacturers and suppliers of feed for the Canadian aquaculture industry are few but they are actively involved. They mainly serve the trout and salmon production industries.
The main ones in B.C. are C.D.N. Bio-Aquatics, Ewos Canada, Innovative Aquaculture Products Ltd., Moore-Clark Co. Inc., Murex, Scantech Resources Ltd., Trend Feed and White Crest Mills Ltd.; in Alberta there in Martin Feed Mills Ltd. In Quebec province the main feed manufacturers are Les Products Martin, Nutribec and Baie des Chaleurs Aquaculture; in New Brunswick they are Connors Bros. Ltd., Corey Feed Mills Ltd.; Ralston Purina Canada Feed Inc. is located in Ontario, as is Martin Feed Mills Ltd.; in Nova Scotia there is William A. Flemming. Feeds are also readily available and imported from the USA.
There are several hundred manufacturers, suppliers and dealers of feed for the USA aquaculture industry, providing feed for a wide range of cultured species (see Aquaculture Magazine Buyer's Guide 1988 for full details). The US aquaculture industry is very well supplied in the sub-sector.
Lists were published in Canadian Aquaculture Buyer's Guide, 1988 and in Aquaculture Magazine Buyer's Guide, 1988 of several thousand manufacturers, suppliers and dealers of the entire range of products and equipment for the aquaculture industry in Canada and the USA, with the majority being in the USA. The Canadian Aquaculture Suppliers' Association was also recently established to assist the industry.
The region is therefore well supplied in the aquaculture equipment sub-sector.
Expertise, consultants and services in nutrition, disease diagnosis and control, engineering and in water chemistry for the commercial aquaculture industry in Canada are of very good quality but thin on a national scale. The required human services are not concentrated either geographically or by discipline. Expertise and consultants tend to be adapted to aquaculture rather than directed toward aquaculture.
However, disease diagnosis and fish health management services on a regional level in Canada have improved greatly with the formation of the Association of Aquaculture Veterinarians of British Columbia and with the opening of the new Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island. The college is the fourth such facility in Canada and one of 31 in North America. Canadian fish health services are now being sold on international markets. For example, in 1986, vaccines from one Canadian company were used to vaccinate 115 million fish in Canada, the USA, Europe and field trials with new vaccines are ongoing.
The USA aquaculture industry is very well served by a wide range of expertise, consultants and services in nutrition, disease diagnosis and control, engineering, water chemistry and culture/farming systems. Extension agents and aquaculture support services at the local level usually exist and are of high quality.
The federal and provincial governments of Canada continue to provide various forms of assistance to small businesses. While there is a wide range of advisory and financial programmes available, the trend has been to encourage the investment of private sector funds rather than providing direct government funding. The Federal Business Development Bank (FBDB), which is a crown corporation of the federal government, provides some direct equity capital through its Venture Capital Division for small businesses. The FBDB also provides a broad range of training vehicles, management counselling, a financial planning programme and an extensive information service.
In addition to the FBDB, the federal government is a source of loan guarantees such as those provided under the Small Business Loans Act of the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion. The provincial governments are also sources of guarantees to the aquaculture industry through the Agricultural Credit Act. On the west coast, for instance, the B.C. Development Corporation has provided low-interest financing to the aquaculture industry through the Low-Interest Loan Assistance programme for manufacturing, processing and directly-related service industries. Some governments in Atlantic Canada offer similar incentive programmes and a number of East Coast aquaculture companies have also made use of funds provided under the federal Topping Up Assistance Program.
The Aquaculture Incentive Program is another programme that was created to encourage the establishment and expansion of firms engaged in B.C. aquaculture production. Interest free, repayable loans are available for up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of Can$ 100 000. A publication entitled "Financing and Incentives for Aquaculture Production in British Columbia" is available from the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. This publication provides a good summary of the many provincial and federal assistance programmes available and how to qualify. Price Waterhouse has a publication called "Government Financial Assistance Programs in Canada" which is available to the public at no charge. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans published "Aquaculture Development in Canada: A Guide to Federal Programs" (see Bibliography), which includes detailed information on economic development, business development and tax incentives.
Funds for both capital equipment and working capital are available to small businesses/aquaculture producers. However, a major problem has been whether the grower/processor could fit the working criteria of the review boards who pass judgement on credit/loan proposals.
The local aquaculture producer in the USA qualifies for credit from the main federal supported institutions, i.e. The Small Business Administration;
The Farmers Home Administration (PHA), The Farm Credit Administration (also see section 4.4). The above institutions make loans on commercial terms to farmers, ranchers, producers, and harvesters of aquatic products, and to their cooperatives.
The FHA is of particular interest to local fish farmers in that it has several aquaculture loans available: Farm Ownership Loans; Operating Loans;
Emergency Loans; Economic Emergency Loans; Soil and Water Loans; Recreational Loans; Business and Industrial Loans; Resource Conservation and Development, and Farm Labour Housing Loans.
The main trade publications for producers are:
Canadian Aquaculture Buyer's Guide, 1988
Atlantic Aquaculture (Canada)
Carolina Aquaculture News
Farm Pond Management
Buyer's Guide '88 and Industry Directory (Aquaculture Magazine)
Seafood Leader (plus Buyer's Guide)