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Nov 14, 2019

AquaBounty aiming to build new RAS sites overseas

For more than two decades, AquaBounty has been developing its genetically modified AquAdvantage salmon, which the company plans to grow in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Since the company gained regulatory approval, and finally had an import alert lifted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May, the it has been busy growing the first batches of genetically modified salmon at its land-based facility in Indiana. That step was a big moment for the company, AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf told SeafoodSource. “I think the next-biggest moment for us was when we imported our first batch of AquAdvantage salmon eggs, and they went into the Indiana farm in late May,” Wulf said. “And we just imported our second batch. The fact that we have fish in the water, and another batch of eggs that are going to hatch, that’s a huge thing for us.” Thus far, all signs point to the process being successful, Wulf said. Now that its salmon has started its growing process, the company is already setting its sights on developing markets for the product, both in the United States and abroad. The company’s core concept of producing salmon in land-based aquaculture has allowed it to set its site on producing salmons in locations – and countries – that have a robust demand for salmon, Wulf said. “We’ve begun conversations with a number of states in the U.S. in terms of where the next facility will be,” Wulf said. “We’re looking at probably three to five different sites in the U.S., we’re looking at additional sites in Canada as well.” The main requirement for the production facility, Wulf said, is that it needs to have an adequate supply of groundwater. AquaBounty has been raising salmon in freshwater for years, without any need for a saltwater phase, allowing the company to be flexible when it comes to selecting a site for a facility. Wulf said the company also aspires to take its aquaculture model overseas.  Read the article.

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