Research Projects
NSERC Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Network


The need for and development of CIMTAN.
Research and development (R&D) on IMTA has been conducted on both the East and West coasts of Canada since 2001.

Significant progress has been made over the last 9 years, but the need for a concerted and strategic approach became obvious for: better coordination, synchronized complementary R&D to fill the knowledge gaps and explore new ideas, sharing information, intellectual and conceptual exchanges, sharing expensive equipment through joint experiments appropriately planned between the two coasts for optimal data acquisition and result analyses, joint inter-disciplinary training of highly qualified personnel (HQP), and increased involvement of industrial partners so that IMTA can move from an interesting academic and experimental concept into a valued economic and social reality at commercial scale.

Discussions for the need of a network approach emerged in the spring of 2008. More discussions solidified the concept of a timely, necessary and highly topical Canadian IMTA Network (CIMTAN) reinforcing the idea among academia, industry, NSERC and Fisheries and Oceans Canada that the time was right for developing CIMTAN as an efficient tool and strong voice for the development of aquaculture in an environmentally and economically responsible manner for the benefits of all Canadians. Dr. Thierry Chopin, from the University of New Brunswick, and one of the most ardent promoters of IMTA in Canada and worldwide, was proposed as the Scientific Director for the network to be developed. The application was submitted on October 15, 2008, and CIMTAN was approved on March 1, 2009 as a 5-year NSERC Strategic Network. This was followed by an effort, over several months, to put in place a Research Network Agreement, which was finally signed by all member institutions, industrial partners and Fisheries and Oceans Canada on January 6, 2010, making it, in practice, the date CIMTAN really started to function with money reaching the leaders of the 14 different projects of the network for the research to commence.