Created in 1989 by two Canadian aquatic biologists, AQUABIOTECH offers a variety of warm and cold water recycling systems for aquaculture and trials on toxicology, marine ecology, fish physiology, nutrition, disease, behaviour and reproductive biology. This equipment can meet every requirement of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). The company also assists with the design of marine research facilities.
Our B2C (business to client) business model is personalized and intended primarily for academic researchers. We maintain close relationships with our research clients and see ourselves simply as “scientists helping scientists” to become leaders in their own field.
Also, Aquabiotech design and builds industrial scale lobster holding systems for the American and European fishing industry applying the same rigorous principles. The Eco Lobster Condo is a concept by which specially designed trays or totes are stacked under a shower or drip system and serviced by a water recycling system. Shellfish are maintained submerged in cold flowing water that trickles down from one tank to the next below. Aquabiotech’s systems provide significant advantages:
- Less stress on the animals: no handling of individual lobster
- No dead zones: oxygenated water flows around each animal;
- Cost efficient: they more than double the holding capacity of a pond
- Add flexibilty: fish totes can be replaced by trays for long-term holding.
Aquabiotech’s history began in the mid 80’s when both founders of Aquabiotech were Ph.D. students at Laval University. Tony was working on the neurophysiological manifestations of stress in fish, while Hélène was studying nitrification, the process by which bacteria in aquaculture biofilters strip dissolved ammonia from the water and convert it to non-toxic nitrates. The technology of the day made it difficult to keep fish successfully in experimental chambers without subjecting them to high concentrations of ammonia, so Hélène offered Tony a deal: she would build small-scale recirc systems that would enable him to keep his fish in a controlled environment, and at the same time provide herself with the raw bacterial material for her own research. The systems were successful and the research prospered, leading to a successful working partnership, and in time to the founding of a research-based, business enterprise.
Strong points and advantages
- We guarantee high quality of water in our water recirculation systems;
- Our fish rearing tanks incorporate a Faecal Trap that removes at least 80% of solids in a concentrated form ;
- Simulation of ammonia and CO2 production, oxygen consumption and CO2 degassing in all our closed systems;
- Proven biotechnology for coating biofilters with active nitrifying bacteria. Our biofilters are delivered pre-activated with freshwater or marine nitrifying bacteria;
- AQUABIOTECH has grown 1 to 6 tons Atlantic salmon smolts for over 6 years in Pilot hatchery with only 10 to 20% of the water volume renewed per day for constant evaluation and improvement of its closed system’s technology;
- AQUABIOTECH factory tests its systems for hydraulic stability and specifications before delivery;
- A team of professionals with long practical experience in aquaculture that offers excellent after-sale service;
- Industry experience with long-term holding of lobster;
- State-of-the-art electronic equipment for the environmental control and monitoring of aquatic and marine facilities;
10,000 pi2 of building for :
- laboratory for physico-chemical analysis,
- pilot testing,
- electronic laboratory.
The company founders
Hélène Drouin, President
Hélène Drouin was one of the founding partners of our company and was president of Aquabiotech from its foundation in 1989 through 2022. Hélène’s training in water treatment preceded her days at Laval University. With a B.Sc. from the University of Guelph, she managed an experimental trout farm for Université de Montréal before taking the long course in aquaculture at the Fisheries Academy in Leetown, West Virginia, where she built her first recirculatory aquaculture system. Subsequently, she took courses in sanitary engineering and was hired by the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture to build a closed aquaculture system. Only later did she register at Laval to pursue her own research.
Tony Pouliot, Director
Tony has been the Production Manager since the founding of Aquabiotech. He holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Laval University (specialty in aquatic biology) and a master’s degree in the same field. He earned his Ph.D. in nutrition from the same university by studying the effect of the quality of dietary protein on stress resistance in rainbow trout.
In addition to the design of the units, he is also involved in research and development needed to continually advance knowledge and technological development.
Hélène passed away Mai 30th, 2022 after a long battle with Cancer. Hélène was a visionary, a woman of honor and integrity who will be missed dearly. In her 33 years at the helm of the company, she established Aquabiotech’s reputation for quality products and services both within the field of aquatic research and commercial fisheries; here in Canada, the US and internationally. Dedicated to the end, to her staff and the company she founded, she took great care in preparing Aquabiotech to continue its mission and development in her absence.