CASD — Ready for Fisheries Future

The Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD) is a comprehensive industrial response unit located within the School of Fisheries at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

With more than 15 research and technical personnel and state-of-the-art research facilities, the CASD provides a suite of technical expertise for addressing industry needs and is conducting a number of research and development efforts to enhance the future growth and diversification of the aquaculture and seafood processing industries in Newfoundland and Labrador.

High pressure processing of stone crab using the NC Hiperbaric 55L HPP System at MI

High pressure processing of stone crab using the NC Hiperbaric 55L HPP System at MI

The Centre is organized around three main research themes including: seafood processing; aquaculture and marine bio-processing and operates four research facilities, each of which has undergone significant renovations within the last three years.

The aim of the newly-renovated and reorganized Centre is to enhance the CASD’s applied research and development capabilities and provide modern multi-functional research facilities to support fisheries and aquaculture diversification and seafood processing development activities of the Marine Institute (MI). The facilities and research personnel of CASD are available to industrial clients for their research and development activities.

The Centre includes a new equipment design lab and a dedicated team of mechanical and process engineers offering specialized seafood processing equipment design services including: processing automation; new equipment design and productivity improvements/processing efficiencies.

Examples of recent engineering projects undertaken by CASD’s design team include: Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation’s (CCFI) patented sea cucumber eviscerating machine; CCFI’s automated meat extraction technology for HPP snow crab (patent pending) and design of a commercial scale aquaponics system. Other additions to the Centre’s licensed seafood pilot plant include an NC Hiperbaric 55L high pressure processing system, AllPax retort system, Laitram CoolSteam cooker and a variety of pilot scale seafood processing equipment.

The CASD also offers unique expertise in high pressure processing and thermal processing new product development.

The Centre’s aquaculture research facility has undergone major improvements providing the research team with better control over experimental designs. The facility includes the addition of a new state-of-the-art 24-hour monitoring control system, new drum filters and biofilters, a new oxygen distribution system and a new quarantine facility for egg importation.

Research activities currently include evaluating new strain performance, waste management strategies (e.g. ensilaging, anaerobic digestion) and aquaculture engineering. In collaboration with the engineering team, the aquaculture team is actively engaged in projects such as development of aquaponics systems and specialized harvesting equipment for mussels and oysters.

Aquaponics system designed by CASD research team (Photo credit: Cyr Couturier)

Aquaponics system designed by CASD research team (Photo credit: Cyr Couturier)

The aim of the CASD’s new marine bio-processing research laboratories and renovated pilot plant facility is to investigate and isolate bioactive compounds from marine processing discards (e.g. crustacean shells, fish frames, trimmings) and to develop them into valuable products using biorefinery technology.

Such products/bioactives have a range of applications including the production of health products, functional foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

The CASD is currently applying biorefinery technology to develop cost effective and environmentally sustainable processing methods to extract: high quality fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids from salmon by-products; low molecular weight peptides from salmon discards; biomedical chitosan and astaxanthin from shrimp shells; collagen from sea cucumbers.

The research team has also developed a range of analytical lab services for wastewater analysis, proximate composition, chitin/chitosan quality, biodiesel and oil analysis.

For further information about the Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development and its services please visit


Director Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development

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