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March-April 2009 ESIP Journal

Thierry Chopin and his team received the prestigious Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada


The Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) project, co-led by Thierry Chopin (University of New Brunswick in Saint John; member of the ESIP Fisheries & Aquaculture, and Eutrophication Subcommittees) and Shawn Robinson (Fisheries and Oceans Canada St. Andrews Biological Station), and their industrial partners Cooke Aquaculture Inc. and Acadian Seaplants Limited received the 2008 Synergy Award for Innovation in the category two companies or more. This award, created in 1995, recognizes innovative collaboration between universities and industry.

Beyond the monetary value of the award ($200,000 plus the hiring of 2 industrial research and development fellows for two years for a total value of $360,000), what is most important to Thierry Chopin is the recognition that the concept promoted by his interdisciplinary team over the last 7 years is becoming more and more accepted and their tireless work is finally bearing its fruit.

Aquaculture already produces more than 40 % of the seafood consumed worldwide. To continue to supply the demand, aquaculture needs to continue to grow, but it must develop innovative, responsible, sustainable and profitable practices that will optimize its efficiency, diversify its products and help reduce the impacts of its activities. One such practice is IMTA, which combines the cultivation of fed species (fish) with that of species extracting dissolved inorganic nutrients (seaweeds) and that of species extracting the particulate organic matter (shellfish) for a balanced approach to ecosystem management.

With IMTA, part of the food and energy considered to be waste and lost in fish monoculture are reused and converted for the growth of other crops of commercial value, while allowing biomitigation to take place and substantial savings to be made on feed. That way all the components of the aquaculture system have a role in the processes and recycling services of the ecosystem. Product diversification brings economic stability and reduces risks. Environmental and economic advantages of IMTA should also contribute to an improved societal acceptance of the aquaculture industry.

“We are extremely delighted to have received this award, which clearly demonstrates that R&D in aquaculture is very competitive and can be celebrated. We are participating in the evolution of the Blue Revolution by making it greener!” says Thierry Chopin, with a big smile.

More information can be obtained at:

Other News in the Gulf of Maine & Bay of Fundy

Past Journals

Febuary 2015ESIP releases new smartphone app connecting people in the Gulf of Maine and watershed to the science happening all around them.

November 2015The launch of a marine debris program in the Bay of Fundy.

September 2015Climate Change Products for Atlantic Canada.

July 2015An update from the April 2015 State of the Bays Symposium in Massachusetts.

June 2015Learn about NH Department of Environmental Services' work with 65 volunteers to improve beach grass coverage at Hampton Beach State Park.

May 2015Nova Scotia recently released risk ratings for storm serge and sea level rise for all portions of the Province - this journal summarizes the findings

April 2015Learn about an exciting project between ESIP and EPA that seeks to unravel upstream pressures on downstream estuaries

February 2015Meet the new Project Leader for the Gulf of Maine Coastal Program in Falmouth, Maine - Jed Wright.

January 2015New Smart Tour of Great Marsh - largest continuous stretch of salt marsh in New England, extending from Cape Ann in Massachusetts to New Hampshire

December 2014The American Lobster Settlement Index is an important project that assesses current lobster fishery condition in both Canada and the US. The dataset is current and available through the ESIP Indicator Reporting Tool

Click here for all past ESIP journals