Other Farmed Fish

Arctic Char

Salvelinus alpinus

Green Arctic char speckled with yellow spots, with orange lower fins tipped with white, swimming with another Arctic char in nature.

© Slowmotiongli/Dreamstime

Native to northern Canada, Arctic char is an important food among northern Indigenous communities. The fish is now farmed throughout Canada.

Farmed Across the Country

Multiple ponds filled with blue water in a large grassy field under a blue sky.

Arctic char farms look different across Canada. The majority of fish live in tanks on land. On the Prairies, Arctic char are often raised in dugouts or ponds.

This fish is even farmed in the Yukon, making Arctic char the only fish farmed in Canada’s northern Territories.

Good to Know . . .

Three large, thick pieces of cooked Arctic char, topped with herbs, on a wooden board next to a bottle of oil and garnishes.

Tetiana Chernykova/Shutterstock

Although they are two different species of fish, salmon and Arctic char have a very similar taste.

Cross-section of a river, with mountains and a tree-lined bank above, and a large group of Arctic char swimming under the water’s surface, along a rocky riverbed.

Dan Bach Kristensen/Shutterstock

Arctic char can live in both freshwater and saltwater. In the wild, some Arctic char migrate to saltwater for part of their lives, while others spend their whole lives in freshwater, where they are born.

Close-up of a group of Arctic char swimming in a tightly packed group.


Wild Arctic char spend part of their lives in very cold water. When the water starts to freeze in winter, groups of Arctic char cluster together into tight groups to avoid freezing. This makes it easier to raise them in tanks, where space is limited.

View of exhaust fans for two stacked rows of bitcoin miners.

© Artiemedvedev/Dreamstime

At Myera Group in Manitoba, Arctic char, vegetables, and algae are grown together using an aquaponics system. And what’s keeping the farm warm? Heat generated by Bitcoin miners working in the same building!  

Chinook Salmon

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Adult Chinook salmon with silver body, black fins, and pointed head, in profile against a white background.


The Chinook is a large, powerful salmon native to Pacific waters. It was the first salmon to be farmed in British Columbia, back in the 1970s.

Pacific salmon, such as Chinook and Coho salmon, are not farmed as commonly as Atlantic salmon.

Good to Know . . .

Chinook salmon are more aggressive than other types of salmon. For this reason, farmers handle them as little as possible.

Fisherman on a boat, holding a large Chinook salmon that is longer than the man’s torso.

© Lawrence Weslowski Jr/Dreamstime

Chinook salmon is the largest of all types of Pacific salmon. Although most grow to 13.6 kilograms, some Chinook can reach 27 kilograms or more. This explains their nickname: “king salmon”!

Black-and-white orca swims beneath the water.


It is not just people who eat Chinook salmon; they are also a source of food for orcas, sea lions, and sharks.

Chinook salmon are native to the Pacific Coast. In the 1960s, however, the Ontario government began to stock the Great Lakes with Chinook salmon — something that continues to this day.

Two men crouch to examine the bottom row of an array of cannabis plants at an indoor facility.

Habitat Life Sciences

Adult male Coho salmon with distinctive hooked upper jaw, yellow-white belly, and black back against a white background.


Fish poop makes a rich fertilizer that boosts plant growth. In British Columbia, Habitat Life raises Coho salmon — a cousin of the Chinook — along with cannabis, on an aquaponics farm.

White Sturgeon

Acipenser transmontanus

A White sturgeon swims out of the dark, with a smooth grey body and a line of raised bumps along its side.

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, CC BY-SA 2.0

The white sturgeon can live for decades, and grows to immense size. It is now being farmed in British Columbia.

Two rows of blue circular tanks, surrounded by clear barricades at an indoor facility.

Vladimir Mulder/Shutterstock

Farmers use large tanks on land to raise this freshwater fish. Farming fish like sturgeon reduces pressure on wild fish stocks.

Good to Know . . .

Open tin of black caviar with a spoon in it, on a white marble surface beside a piece of French bread with caviar spread on top.

Natalia Lisovskaya/Shutterstock

Sturgeon is raised for its meat, which can be eaten both fresh and smoked. It is also raised for its caviar, a luxury product.

Close up of a wild-caught sturgeon held by a fisherman on a boat.


Sturgeon also live in the wild in Canada. Their numbers have plummeted in many lakes and streams, because of overfishing, pollution, and dam-building.

Beer being poured into a glass from a tap.

Paul Velgos/Shutterstock

Sturgeon air bladders are processed to create a gelatin called isinglass. For centuries, isinglass was used to clarify beer by removing the excess yeast, preventing the beverage from becoming cloudy.

Front view of a sturgeon’s face, showing four fleshy white whiskers hanging in front of the sturgeon’s mouth.


Sturgeon are bottom-feeders. Their whiskers, or barbels, help them sense creatures such as snails and clams, as well as fish like young salmon, in the dark. They then use their mouths to suck up the food from beneath them.

Black-and-white etching of a giant sturgeon lying on a beach at the edge of a large body of water.

Thomas Faull/iStock

In the wild, sturgeon can grow very large. One sturgeon caught in the Fraser River in 1897 weighed 629 kg!


Anoplopoma fimbria

Sablefish with long slim body and dark brown-black colouring, lying on its belly on a pile of crushed ice.

Golden Eagle Sablefish

Sablefish is a valuable fish in high demand. It is farmed in British Columbia by just one company, Golden Eagle Sablefish.

A rectangle of square net pens in a large body of water, close to a peninsula with steep tree-covered slopes.

Golden Eagle Sablefish

Golden Eagle Sablefish is the only commercial sablefish farm in the world. It is located in Kyuquot Sound on Vancouver Island. It has a partnership with the Kyuquot-Checleseht First Nations. The farm produces sablefish in net pens.

Good to Know . . .

In the wild, sablefish live on the West Coast of North America, from Baja, California all the way to the Bering Sea.

Seared piece of sablefish and rice sushi on a black plate.

© Napas Teeratantikanont/Dreamstime

Because of its taste and texture, most farmed sablefish is used to make sushi and sashimi. It is safe to eat raw, because farmed sablefish don’t have parasites.

In the wild, sablefish eat other fish, as well as squid, octopus, and crab.

Sablefish with long slim body and dark brown-black colouring, lying on its belly on a pile of crushed ice.

Golden Eagle Sablefish

Cod with long slim body and pale yellow colouring with golden yellow spots, swimming over a sandy aquarium floor with rocks in the background.

© Ys7485/Dreamstime

Sablefish are also known as “black cod” because of their dark colour, and their similar shape and size to cod. However, they are not part of the cod family at all.

View of water surrounded by mountains as the sun sets.

Chase Clausen/Shutterstock

Wild sablefish like to live in areas with deep water, such as fjords. They thrive at depths of 150 to 1,500 metres.