Ontario’s largest trout producer feeling the heat of climate change

Higher temperatures that last for longer may push fish farming further north in Canada.

Tvo.org reports on how warming waters could spell disaster for Canadian trout farmers but also opportunities for some who make the move.

Ontario trout farms such as Cole-Munro Foods are looking further North to Lake Superior, some 300 miles away.

“We’ve had high temperatures in the summer in the past; that’s nothing new,” Cole-Munro Foods manager Tanya Hughson told Tvo. “What’s new is that the high temperatures are sustaining for longer periods of time.”

Ontario’s largest rainbow trout producer owns net-pen farms and a fish-processing plant. Its fish is sold in Sobeys and Costco stores across Ontario.

“They’re much farther north, obviously, and they have cooler air temperatures in the summer. So what we’re looking for is a more optimal growing period,” Hughson said. “Lake Superior warms up slower and cools off a lot slower. So we would have that sweet spot a lot longer.”

The publication reported in-depth how the town of Marathon, near Lake Superior, has seen a sharp decline in such traditional industries as forestry which may now be filled by aquaculture.

“We were really looking at sustainable natural-resource industries as part of our economic development strategy,” said Marathon chief administrative officer Daryl Skworchinski. “I think more communities are looking at these opportunities — agriculture and aquaculture, in our case.”


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