Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture
Where it’s practiced…
IMTA is still in the developmental stages. In a pilot project in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canadian researchers investigated the benefits of rearing Blue mussels and kelps near pre-established Atlantic salmon aquaculture sites. In this system, any feed not eaten by the salmon – together with other organic wastes – is then available as a nutrient source for the mussels.
As part of their natural metabolic processes, both the salmon and the mussels release soluble ammonia and phosphorus – thereby also providing essential nutrients for the kelps. This nutrient abundance is having a positive impact on the growth of both species: the mussels reach market size 8-10 months earlier than normal – and the kelps grow 46% more.
The mussels produced by the IMTA system would be ideal for the restaurant and retail trade – while markets for kelps include food, nutraceuticals, and other applications.