Arctic Charr… (Salvelinus alpinus) is a member of the Salmonid family – and resembles a salmon in appearance. Arctic Charr have a coral coloured flesh with a taste somewhat milder than Atlantic salmon.
Where they are farmed… Canadian Arctic Charr are farmed in the Yukon Territory, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba – and Dorset (UK)
How they’re farmed… Arctic Charr are raised in land-based systems. Arctic Charr eggs are hatched within specialized hatchery facilities. The young fish remain in the hatchery until they reach ~100 grams; the fish are then transferred to tanks at the grow-out facilities. While they take almost a year to
reach 100 grams, Arctic Charr exhibit a rapid growth spurt during the grow out phase – reaching market weight (1-2.5kg) within the next 12 months.
What they eat… are fed nutrient-dense, dry pellets. Using ingredients that are tested for quality and purity, feed manufacturers tailor make feeds to suit the exact dietary requirements of the fish at each stage of their life cycle. Currently, the main ingredients are fishmeal and fish oil. The fishmeal and oil are primarily made from forage fish that are too small and bony to be used for human consumption. Feed manufacturers are developing new feeds that will replace some of the fish-based ingredients with sustainable ingredients from other sources such as vegetables – yet still provide high quality, nutritious farmed. Feed manufacturers also add essential vitamins, minerals.
Why they’re environmentally sustainable… The landbased Arctic Charr rearing systems are considered to be among the most environmentally responsible fish farming designs. Features of the most systems include removal of particulate matter and effluent prior to releasing water from the fish tanks into the environment. Waste sludge removed from the water is then provided to terrestrial farmers for use on crops. Houghton Springs electricity supply is augmented by a 10kW Solar array covering the entire south faced hatchery roof.
Marine Conservation Society states that ‘farmed Arctic Charr is a good choice to make when looking for an oily fish’. Arctic Charr is highlighted as a “Best” choice by the Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch Guide.
Did you know… In winter, wild Charr gather close together in small pockets of unfrozen fresh water – they are therefore accustomed to living in very close quarters with one another. As a result, farmed must also be stocked at high densities in the rearing tanks; when stocked at low densities, the Charr grow poorly and have a higher incidence of illness.