Inside INdiana Business

Atlantic salmon now being harvested in Indiana

AquaBounty Technologies Inc. has begun harvest of conventional Atlantic salmon raised on an Indiana aquaculture farm. (photo provided)

ALBANY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Albany, Indiana, is about 750 miles away from the Atlantic Ocean, but the Delaware County town of 2,100 Hoosiers is where Atlantic salmon is now being harvested.

Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AQB) announced the beginning of its commercial-scale harvest of conventional Atlantic salmon raised at its aquaculture farm in Albany. This fish farm is the company’s first in the U.S.

The company says the Indiana-based farm will ramp up the monthly harvest of conventional salmon throughout the summer and plans to reach 100 metric tons per month by early 2021.

The annual capacity of the farm is approximately 1,200 metric tons.

“For comparison, in the U.S., we consume about 400,000 tons of salmon a year,” said Mark Walton, chief technology officer for AquaBounty.

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The company uses a Recirculating Aquaculture System to raise its fish which filters and reuses the same water in the tanks. AquaBounty says the RAS is a more efficient and sustainable way to raise Atlantic salmon.

Conventional salmon farming occurs in netted pens in coastal regions. Walton says productivity has leveled-out.

“There are biological challenges that go along with being in a net pen, such as temperatures and disease,” explained Walton. “By bringing the salmon into a system like ours, we eliminated the environmental issues.”

The company says locating the farm in the Midwest puts it within easy reach of key U.S. markets.

“As the global population increases, we are seeking better ways to efficiently feed a hungry world with a sustainable source of nutritious food,” said AquaBounty’s Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Wulf. “Land-based aquaculture is a reliable method for supplying fresh and healthy salmon. This harvest is the result of AquaBounty’s almost 30 years of experience in aquaculture and demonstrates our expertise in raising Atlantic salmon.”

It is at this same location in Albany where AquaBounty is raising its genetically-engineered AquAdvantage Salmon, production for which began a year ago. The GE salmon is the nation’s first FDA-approved protein for human consumption. The company says harvest of those fish will begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

AquaBounty Chief Technology Officer Mark Walton explains to Inside INdiana Business how market demand is pushing the aquaculture industry.

Walton appeared on this week’s Ag+Bio+Science Podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana to talk about the company’s Hoosier operations. Click here for more information on how you can listen.