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Stephen Cross

Stephen Cross

Centre for Applied Researh, Technology and Innovation
North Island College

Chair Title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Sustainable Aquaculture

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chair for Colleges


Chairholder since 2012


Continuing to build a sustainable aquaculture industry in Canada is the major focus of this multi-project research initiative. To meet a growing global demand for seafood, results of this Canadian research program will assist in diversifying production through integrated systems, increasing efficiencies in both short- and long-term environmental management approaches, and increasing public awareness and acceptance of aquatic food production ("fish farming") for Canada.

The release of organic wastes from fish farms has both positive and negative impacts on local aquatic habitat. These complex interactions are the basis for the Canadian regulatory framework for this industry sector. Comprehensive monitoring programs have been developed to ensure that farms operate in a sustainable manner. The focus of the research program is to test new and refined approaches for environmental management of waste discharge to address many of the technical challenges associated with current methods. The aim is to provide technical options that remain rigorous and scientifically defensible, yet are cost-effective and efficient from the operator's perspective.

The organic and inorganic waste streams are an opportunity to develop integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) within existing farm operations. This approach, and the system design and economic modelling for a kelp/seaweed component of the industry as a whole, will be explored.

Fish farm facilities, by nature of their often-remote coastline locations, also offer unique possibilities for establishing long-term monitoring. Such monitoring can document changes in water quality that could have serious implications for the industry as well as for coastal zone managers tasked with adaptive planning for the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. This research will also propose and test a standardized monitoring station for farm site installation, including data collection, consolidation, and summary for use by many stakeholders.

Dr. Cross, The NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Sustainable Aquaculture, has been involved with aquaculture development in Canada since 1985. He has worked with a broad client base in industry, government, and academia on all aspects of environmental management of coastal aquaculture. Over the past 10 years, he has completed pioneering research to develop IMTA in Canada and was the first licensed marine operator for such systems on the west coast. He has also worked outside of Canada, assisting with regulatory development in Chile and Thailand (most recently with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), with academic curriculum development in Mozambique, and with a range of other projects in the United States and Australia.


  • Creative Salmon Company
  • Marine Harvest Canada
  • Crieg Seafood British Columbia
  • Mainstream Canada

Contact Information

Centre for Applied Researh, Technology and Innovation
North Island College
1685 South Dogwood Street
Campbell River, British Columbia
V9W 8C1

Tel.: 250-923-9751
Fax: 250-923-9725

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