Agri-food processing opportunities for Indigenous farmers -Optimization of fish waste fertilizer sourced from local integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) operations
Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) is a technique by which the environmental impacts are minimized while efficiency is increased. However, these aquaculture activities can put a strain on their surrounding environment, as operations encroach on valuable wetland areas, act as a stressor on local water resources, and effluent waste can increase the concentrations of pollutants in nearby waterbodies. Hence, development IMTA system that can produce fish and marketable co-products without drastic water demands will improve operations. This project seeks to optimize an in-tank IMTA process designed for remote northern populations, providing economic opportunities, a source of healthy nutrition, and increased sovereignty over food sources for First Nations. We will develop an algal remediation protocol that will treat aquaculture wastewater that can then be used to produce a highly nutritious wild rice, historically harvested by Indigenous people as a traditional food source. Outcomes will be leveraged to develop agri-food processing opportunities for Indigenous farmers.