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"Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century."

- Peter Drucker, Management Expert & Economist


Atlantic Sapphire thinks big after approval for Florida salmon farm

Norwegian farmed salmon company Atlantic Sapphire has gotten full approval to construct a new plant in Florida, the company's first in the US, Johan Andreassen, the founder of Langsand Laks and Atlantic Sapphire, told Undercurrent News.
Over the last few months the company has been gathering the necessary permits and recently completed them all. 

"We'll start initial drilling in April, and the rest will commence in May or June," Andreassen said. 

He added that the first eggs are slated to go in at the start of 2018, with the first fish heading to market in late 2019 or early 2020. 

If successful, the company will create a huge increase in US Atlantic salmon production, currently hitting 20,000t to 25,000t annually. During phase one, the new facility will have the capacity to produce 8,000 metric tons of head-on, gutted fish, and after phase three, it will produce about 90,000t per year--boosting total US farmed salmon production four-fold if the rest of the nation's production remained the same.

It would also help feed a nation that already consumes about 500,000t of Atlantic salmon annually. 

"There's a huge deficit in domestic production," Andreassen said. "The US relies on importing from Canada, Norway, Scotland and Chile. So we're going to bring salmon farming to America to a larger extent."

Andreassen added he thinks the US market has "massive untapped potential". 

"By bringing this product locally we can grow this market over the next decade," he said. "It has the potential to become a significant industry within US borders." 

The product is already being sold into the US on a weekly basis from the pilot plant in Denmark, mostly to high end restaurants, as a premium product. 

At the moment, distribution is limited to certain regions in the US, but eventually the product "will be found all over the US". 

Part of the reason the company decided to move to the US was to cut down on air freight costs by producing locally. It spent over half a decade developing on-land farmed salmon during a commercial pilot program in Denmark, called Langsand Laks. 

"It's basically a blueprint of what we have developed in Denmark in the last six to seven years," he said. 

In December, Platina Seafood -- Sapphire's parent company -- relaunched its salmon farmed on land in Denmark, shipped to the US market, under the "Atlantic Sapphire" brand. 

After a launch in 2014, the company had issues at its operation and pulled production, but it has resolved these and is putting fish, rated a best choice by the influential Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program in October, into the market again.

Source: Undercurrent news

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