Up to 200,000 tonnes of market-sized salmonids will be grown in land-based systems within the next decade.
So believes Steve Summerfelt, Director of Aquaculture Systems Research at the Freshwater Institute in West Virginia.
“I think that, within 10 years, the annual global production for RAS-produced market-sized salmon could reach 100,000-200,000 MT, as highlighted in the recent DNB Markets special report. However, this is hard to know with certainty, because investment over the next five years will be critical to achieve this target,” he tells Fish Farming Expert.
Steve has been working with RAS salmonid projects for close to 20 years.
“Nearly two decades ago, we worked on several of the first viable RAS facilities producing Atlantic salmon smolt in Canada and the United States. And in the decades since, we have continued working with industry suppliers, designers and farmers on RAS that produce market-size Atlantic salmon and steelhead in North America,” he says.
And he feels that the technology available, combined with the growing wealth of experience, and increasing consumer demand for more sustainably-produced seafood makes it an excellent time to be involved with land-based salmon production.
“I think that all US RAS fish producers show special promise, because they can provide a truly fresh and local ‘farm to table’ option at the seafood counter and on restaurant menus,” says Steve.
He is particularly excited by a project, currently under construction, which will combine the production of market-sized Atlantic salmon with the growth of salad plants for human consumption.
“One of the most promising ventures is Superior Fresh, with its integration of salmon and leafy green production for local markets, which looks like it will be the first commercial land-raised Atlantic salmon producer in the United States to go to market with 4-5 kg fish,” he reflects.
And he is looking forward to seeing several other projects begin construction or expansion as the year goes on. Read the article.