Open Blue Inaugurates Cobia Freezing Plant in Panama City
Open Blue, the world’s largest open ocean fish farm operator and supplier of cobia (Rachycentron canadum), has opened a multi-million-dollar, value-added production facility enabling at-source portioning and inline freezing at its processing plant in Panama City, Panama. The company has expanded its production capabilities to include Marel cutting technology, enabling high-speed production of exact-weight, customized cobia portions.
Open Blue has also installed a Praxair cryogenic freezing tunnel that allows for the rapid freezing of portions, fillets and other products. This technology helps freeze in the freshness by preserving the natural flavor and moisture of this premium, sashimi-grade whitefish that is firm in texture and mild in flavor.
“As a vertically integrated company from egg to plate, we are pleased to now be able to offer our retail and foodservice customers the guaranteed product quality of portions processed at source. Our new frozen products lock in the fresh-caught quality that people love. We believe that investing in our total cold storage chain, including super-freezing at -35°C, will help our customers save time, improve inventory management and increase efficiencies,” said Bernie Leger, vice president of sales and marketing.
Open Blue was recently recognized with a national award for export development, reflecting the growth, expansion and dynamism of the business. Additionally, in March it received the Best New Foodservice Product of the Year Award at Seafood Expo North America in Boston for vacuum-packed frozen cobia fillets.
“This investment broadens our potential customer reach for 2018 with access to major national accounts in America, Europe and Asia, and reflects our customer-focused approach,” said Chris Perry, chief executive officer of Open Blue.
About the Company
Open Blue’s cobia are carefully cultivated in the deep, open waters of the Caribbean Sea approximately 12 kilometers off the coast of Panama in proprietary sea stations fully submerged at depths of up to 250 feet in a protected no-take zone encompassing 2,500 acres of natural habitat. This results in healthy fish that are naturally high in protein, providing 3,500mg of total Omega 3 content at levels higher than farmed Atlantic salmon. Headquartered in Panama City, the company has sales and marketing offices in Miami, Los Angeles, Nova Scotia and Europe.