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NSERC Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Network

Key Priorities

a) CIMTAN is focused on developing a key network of researchers, with complementary expertise, from across Canada to further develop IMTA approaches to strategically enhance economically sustainable production systems. The ultimate goal of CIMTAN is to develop aquaculture systems, which can be adopted by its industrial partners, to efficiently mitigate organic and inorganic enrichment of fed aquaculture operations by actively recapturing this material to turn it into the production of extractive crops of commercial value, hence transforming associated environmental and socio-economic issues into benefits and trusted quality seafood/novel seafood-base products, not only for its industrial partners, but also for coastal/rural communities and all Canadians. With a strong pan-Canadian academic/government/industry partnership, CIMTAN will provide the inter-disciplinary R&D, and HQP training, on the following linked areas of IMTA:
- ecological design, ecosystem interactions and biomitigative efficiency,
- system innovation and engineering,
- economic viability and societal acceptance, and
- regulatory science,
to facilitate the commercialization of IMTA in Canada.

b) CIMTAN will go beyond addressing natural science and/or engineering questions, and will address socio-economic and regulatory governance components, required for the full development of the sector. CIMTAN will create the conditions for increased economic opportunities in coastal/rural regions, including First Nations communities, providing sustainable, quality seafood to Canadians, concomitant with increased societal acceptance of the aquaculture sector and public policy development for improved government decision-making.

c) Training of HQPs is a very high priority of CIMTAN (CAD$2.156 million or 43.1 % of the NSERC budget). All the projects are involved in this very important task of training the scientists, policy influencers, decision makers, regulators, and industrialists of tomorrow. It is anticipated that the 26 scientists of the network will support and train 114 HQP over 5 years: 23 MSc, 2 MASc, 4 MRM, 4 MA, 5 PhD students, 2 postdoctoral fellows and 6 technicians. A large number of undergraduate summer students (68) will also be hired. CIMTAN is promoting student co-supervision, student mobility among the domains, reciprocal laboratory visits, and placement terms at the different partner organizations, to ensure inter-disciplinary training and versatile multi-sectoral experience with the different prevailing environmental, economic and societal conditions in the different domains, institutions, organizations and regions.