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B.C. aquatech firm lands $28M for salmon farm improvements

Campbell River company developed more environmentally friendly salmon farm
Poseidon Ocean System's Trident salmon farm, built in Campbell River.

Poseidon Ocean Systems, a B.C. company that has developed a more efficient, environmentally sustainable fish farming system, has landed $28 million in Series B financing that will help the company expand its manufacturing capacity.

Leading the Series B raise was San Francisco-based impact investing firm Ecosystem Integrity Fund. InBC Investment Corp and Export Development Canada are also part of the Series B financing.

"An environmentally sustainable aquaculture industry is critical to relieving pressure on wild fisheries", Ecosystem Equity Fund managing partner James Everett said in a press release. 

"EIF is excited to lead Poseidon's Series B financing, as we believe the company's innovations can play an important role in minimizing environmental impact and improving fish health.  We are confident that Poseidon's solutions are the future of sustainable aquaculture, and the company is poised for significant global growth."

The company said the money will be used to expand its manufacturing capacity for its turnkey life support systems and hybrid sea cage systems, already in use in B.C., Chile and the U.K.

“This allows us to move into a new production facility, retool that production facility and as well grow our team because, frankly, we’re out of seats at our existing building,” Poseidon co-founder and chief operations officer Heather Clarke told BIV News.

The company currently employs 40 people in Campbell River and 10 in the company’s sales support office in Chile.

The company also has clients in the UK, New Zealand and Tasmania.

“Our next step will be to open a sales support office in the U.K.,” Clarke said.

Poseidon makes components that work together to create a full salmon farm. The main component is the floating cage infrastructure that has been designed to be much more stable and robust than conventional open-net cage systems.

The company’s Trident salmon farm infrastructure can be used in traditional open-net salmon farming, but also is designed to accommodate all the add-ons needed to create hybrid systems that minimize interactions between farmed and wild fish to lower the risk of pest and disease transfers.

“We set out to improve the buoyancy and allow for the integration of all of these other systems,” Clarke said. “Because it is so strong, it is very well-suited for being able to add that additional load of barriers and that type of thing.”

To address the concerns over farmed and wild salmon interactions, which can increase risk of disease transmission, salmon farmers in B.C. and Norway have been experimenting with systems that use retractable curtains that create temporary barriers enclosing the salmon cages when wild salmon are migrating.

Whenever a barrier is added, however, that reduces natural water flows, which can lead to things like lower oxygen levels, so aeration and oxygenation needs to be supplemented. Poseidon’s energy efficient aeration and oxygen diffuser systems address that problem.

“The aquaculture industry plays an important role in B.C.’s economy as well as our food security,” said InBC CEO.

“InBC’s investment into Poseidon is backing a B.C. company, established here in Campbell River, whose innovative solutions are enabling fish farms here and across the world to be more productive, sustainable and resilient, while meeting the increased global demand for sustainable protein.

"This investment aligns with InBC’s goals to innovate for the future and build a climate resilient economy.”

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