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Canadian RAS start-up Gold River Aquafarms lands federal approval

December 9, 2022  By  Nestor Arellano

(Image: Gold River Aquafarms)

It’s all systems go for Gold River Aquafarms, a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) company based in British Columbia, Canada, after it received an aquaculture permit from the country’s Department of Ocean’s and Fisheries (DFO).

Gold River Aquafarm’s (GRA) C$100 million (US$74.3 million) project aims to build a 3,000 metric ton RAS facility for raising steelhead trout. When completed, the facility will be Canada’s largest land-based fish farm, according to the company.

The facility will be built on the site of a decomissioned paper mill. GRA said it saved $15 million in capital by repurposing the mill infrastructure, including several large warehouses as well as water and power systems.


GRA also said the facility also has the potential to expand capacity to 15,000 metric tons by building into an adjacent property.

The Canadian founders of GRA have been part of the design, development and management of 130 aquaculture facilities around the world.

“We began the planning for this project three years ago and have already done a lot of engineering and survey work to get to this point,” said Rob Walker, president of GRA. “Our application for regulatory approval was filed on February 2021, through FrontCounter BC, and we are delighted to now have the permit in hand.”

GRA also hopes to boost the economy of the village of Gold River by helping create other start-up venture opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

Michael Mott, the mayor of Gold River, said his office looks forward to working with “an environmentally responsible and sustainable industry.”

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