US-based GMO salmon farmer AquaBounty has selected an appropriately named venue for its first full scale site – Pioneer, Ohio.
AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage fish are the first GMO (genetically modified organism) salmon in commercial production.
The new farm represents an important milestone for the company. It will be AquaBounty’s first large-scale commercial facility, with a planned annual production capacity of 10,000 metric tons – approximately eight times the size of its existing farm in Albany, Indiana, which has an annual production capacity of 1,200 metric tons.
The company is finalising the design for the estimated 479,000 square foot facility and expects to invest over $200m (£143m) in the project. Construction is slated to begin in late 2021 and the Company anticipates commercial stocking of salmon to commence in 2023. Once in operation, the farm will bring more than 100 new jobs to the region, the company says.
The AquAdvantage fish are Atlantic salmon whose genetic makeup also includes elements of two other fish species, Chinook salmon and ocean pout, in order to achieve faster growth and more efficient feed conversion. The salmon are reared in land-based RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) facilities. This year saw the company’s first commercial harvest
AquaBounty’s Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Wulf, said: “We are excited to announce Pioneer, Ohio as the location of our next farm. After an intensive analysis of the site data and the completion of substantial due diligence, Pioneer met our selection requirements. The Village of Pioneer, Williams County, the State of Ohio, JobsOhio and the Regional Growth Partnership have all been a pleasure to work with and are highly supportive of the economic benefits we plan to bring to the community.”
The state of Ohio is now finalising a package of economic incentives to support AquaBounty’s location at the Pioneer site, Wulf added. The plan for the new farm is contingent upon approval of state and local incentives. AquaBounty expects to begin construction by the end of this year.