Bishop Aquatic Technologies does business all over the world, but last week a delegation of more than 20 Ocean and Fisheries Department officials from the Chinese province of Hainan visited for a closer look at some of the Eganville company’s fishing and waste-water technologies.
“They’re looking for technology solutions,” said Don Bishop, co-owner of Bishop Aquatic Technologies. “They have a growing fish-farming sector. What they’re looking to do is to improve, instead of making the mistakes that others have made.
“So they discovered us, in the heart of the Ottawa Valley … and they came here to get that technology together and to find out more about what we’re doing in the way we challenge and fix environmental (issues).”
The primary focus was potential fish-farming containment solutions, which are centred around Bishop Water Technologies’ own Aquagrid netting. This netting has created huge savings for companies in such countries as Norway, Chile, Canada, Japan, Denmark, Australia, Germany, Israel and Indonesia.
The Chinese delegation that visited Oct. 25 was also particularly interested in the Eganville-based company’s geotube dewatering, waste-management technology as well as how it has collected and treated fish waste from fish cages for dry fertilizer.
The geotube technology is part of wastewater treatment sites in Eganville, London and Brockville, several Quebec communities, Yarmouth, and Newfoundland.
Prior to arriving in the Ottawa Valley, the Chinese delegation visited Toronto, Guelph and Charlottetown. Before heading home, the group will also have visited Montreal, Quebec City and Vancouver.
“Their industry (in China) is absolutely huge and it’s the most underdeveloped area of the industry we’ve seen anywhere in the world,” said Bishop.
“What we wanted them to see is that we’re a company that’s not afraid to take on challenges. We’re good for the environment. We use good old garden-variety commonsense to fix engineering and science issues.
“Our goal, as an Ottawa Valley company, is to create relationship with these governments in China so we can start doing technology transfer, and bring some more people into our brain trust that like to live here, but do business all over the world,” added the Golden Lake resident.
“I was a little taken aback about how interested they were and how excited they were about what they saw.”
The company’s whole focus, stressed Bishop, “is that there is no waste. If you understand the nitrogen cycle, you’re going to be able to convert it to something (useful).”
Bishop spent about 90 minutes, in the Bonnechere Valley council chambers, telling the delegation mainly about his company’s Aquagrid.
The black polyester netting is manufactured by TenCate, the world’s largest industrial weaver, whose headquarters is in the Netherlands.
Bishop said Aquagrid, which was seven years in the making, is providing huge financial and ecological savings for fish farms that previously used predator-prone, more-breakable nylon netting. The nylon lasts about half as long as Aquagrid, explained Bishop, whose presentation included illustrations, data and video.
Bishop’s entire presentation was translated by Tai Xie. Members of the Chinese delegation included deputy director general Jiangang Pan, who presented gifts to Bishop and Bonnechere Valley Mayor Jennifer Murphy.
Murphy was met enthusiastically after she greeted the delegation with a few words in their Cantonese language.
Bishop Aquatic Technologies, which was founded in the early 1990s, is one of four joint companies within the Bishop Group of Companies.
The others are Bishop Water Technologies (whose CEO is Kevin Bossy of Renfrew), Fukui North America (for advancement of shellfish technology), and Geo-Drudging and Dewatering Solutions (which is headquartered out of Renfrew).