The Foundation has supported Tides Canada for a variety of projects relevant to its conservation work, because Tides Canada has a successful history of working with Canadian, US, and international foundations, providing a valuable source of on-the-ground knowledge of charitable opportunities in Canada. This has been particularly helpful for US foundations that wish to support Canadian charities. Tides Canada is able to provide funds to Canadian charities, many of which are not registered under US tax law. Tides Canada also works with institutional funders who want to pool their resources toward particular goals. These mechanisms are similar to what are provided by United Way of Canada.
The Foundation has donated three grants to Tides Canada for aquaculture innovation, as it supports work to ensure healthy wild salmon populations and mitigate negative impacts of aquaculture on wild stocks.
The first donation was for:
- The development and launch—with formal government and industry participation—the Finfish Aquaculture Innovation Fund, to enable the transition from open-net pens to closed containment technology; and
- Increased coordination and open dialog among the business community, ENGOs, and government on the subject of advancing aquaculture innovations, including those to protect wild salmon.
The second donation was, in conjunction with public and private sources, for:
- The early stage research, development, and demonstration of closed containment salmon aquaculture technology through at least one project in British Columbia – with direct support of those in government and the fish farm industry; and
- Support for those developing closed-containment systems in British Columbia to better address funding, technological, biological, economic and environmental challenges.
A third grant was for:
- Continued development of closed containment salmon aquaculture technology; and
- Community economic development, supporting the Namgis on-land closed containment demo project, for which the majority of its >$6M comes from federal funding through Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
This and related funding for aquaculture innovation is helping investigate the viability of both on-land and floating closed containment pilot projects. In early 2011, the Middle Bay Sustainable Aquaculture Institute (MBSAI) and AgriMarine successfully launched the first marine-based, commercial-scale, closed containment tank for farming salmon. The demonstration project is affirming the technological feasibility of “closed containment” salmon production and could provide compelling evidence of its commercial viability, as an alternative to conventional open-net systems which put wild salmon as risk.