Operations

 

Beginning in 2008, ARC has produced Yellow Perch from a 6000 sqft steel framed building, in Tecumseh Michigan.  The centerpiece of the operation is a state of the art 15,000gallon, WMT designed, moving bed bioreactor (MBBR), 60 micron drum filter, low head oxygenator (LHO), recirculating aquaculture system.  An overview of the facility and available equipment can be found at the link below:

http://michiganaquaculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ARC2014_overview.pdf

After producing 10,000lbs of Yellow Perch per year at the facility, we idled the facility in 2014 to focus on other activities for the development of aquaculture in Michigan.  We are still supporting RAS research activities at the world leading Freshwater Institute (The Conservation Fund / West Virginia) and connecting through them to leading developers in Denmark and British Columbia.  We are also closely following developments in closed containment and offshore fish farming, but do not see these practices as practical in Michigan’s development at this time.

To tackle the Supply Chain development challenge, we are actively supporting the evaluation of net farms for the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes.  A substantial body of research has been conducted by Ontario, evaluating the impact of net farms in the Canadian waters of Lake Huron.  Several operations have produced fish for over 30 years in the same location, with none of the fallowing practices or tidal flows, that are typical siting practices for ocean farms.  A 1999 report by the International Joint Commission (IJC) and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) recommended areas of further action for governments, universities, and industry to address concerns on water quality impacts from large-scale Great Lakes aquaculture.  Ontario has systematically progressed on these recommendations and we support Michigan evaluating these findings as soon as possible:

http://www.glfc.org/research/reports/TulenWaterQuality.PDF

As a consequence of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), and the disruption of nutrients up and down the food chain, net culture could become an important management tool for 21st Century stewardship of the Great Lakes.  Observations at Ontario farms indicate potential for positive natural impact, similar to ocean concepts to create Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), in which the wild fishery improves through as Freshwater (F)IMTA mechanism.

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/Publications/article/2007/27-09-2007-eng.htm

Strengthening our coastal communities, improving recreational fishing, providing jobs and taxes, all while delivering consumers fresh, affordable, and healthy local fish.  Michigan has a strong regulatory history and world class research institutions, we should be able to confidently embrace the sustainable development of aquaculture and become a leader in fish production.

Local fishing enhanced near Ontario Farm – an Oasis in the Desert?