AquaBounty Technologies, a land-based aquaculture company employing state-of-the art techniques to enhance productivity and sustainability, has identified Mayfield, Kentucky, USA, as the likely site for a farm to raise proprietary genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon.
The planned antibiotic-free fish farm will be the Maynard, Massachusetts-headquartered company’s first large-scale commercial facility, with 10,000 metric ton annual production capacity – or about eight times the size of its current operation in Albany, Indiana, which has annual production capacity of 1,200 metric tons. A third farm, along Rolly Bay on Prince Edward Island in Canada, has capacity of 250 metric tons and is expecting its first harvest in early 2021.
Mayfield, situated in the southwestern corner of Kentucky, emerged as the leading site for AquaBounty’s next production facility after an exhaustive nationwide search. Evaluation criteria included sufficient water and wastewater volumes, low electricity prices, proximity to major population centers, availability of skilled labor and a stable, supportive political environment.
“We are pleased to have identified a site in Mayfield as meeting or exceeding all selection criteria for our third farm,” said CEO Sylvia Wulf. “The Graves County community and site location met all suitability and technical requirements. At both the state and local level, we found a welcome economic environment and favorable incentives for our business.”
She added: “We now are negotiating details of the potential purchase, conducting due diligence, and are moving forward as quickly as possible to finalize the transaction. This milestone positions AquaBounty to rapidly expand our geographic footprint and meet our long-term production goals, creating value for our shareholders.”
Construction is expected to begin in 2021 and the company anticipates the farm will be ready for commercial production to begin in 2023. The facility will potentially bring 70 to 90 new jobs to the region.
AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage salmon program is based upon a single, specific molecular modification in fish that results in more rapid growth in early development.