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Assessing the profitability of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture in Canada with and without a deposit feeder component

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Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) has been proposed as a sustainable aquaculture technology that can help offset some of the environmental impacts of fed finfish aquaculture. My study builds on a previous financial analysis of salmon monoculture and IMTA in Canada by using a discounted cash-flow analysis (DCF) to examine the financial implications for investors considering investing in either (i) Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) monoculture, (ii) Atlantic salmon, blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), and kelp (Saccharina latissima) three-species IMTA, or (iii) Atlantic salmon, blue mussel, kelp, and green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) four-species IMTA. I found that three-species IMTA is more profitable than both Atlantic salmon monoculture and four-species IMTA, but that four-species IMTA has a lower net present value (NPV) than salmon monoculture if there is no price premium applied to IMTA salmon and mussels. Including a 10% price premium on IMTA salmon and mussels results in substantially higher NPVs for three-species and four-species IMTA compared to salmon monoculture. However, despite the positive indications of my study’s DCF and other IMTA-related financial analyses, ongoing uncertainty related to IMTA’s financial and environmental performance, and technological and managerial complexity, may be overriding barriers to IMTA adoption in Canada.
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