U.S – AquaBounty, a biotechnology firm notable for its research and development of Genetically Modified (GM) fish, has publicized the details of a US$ 200 million expansion of its Genetically Engineered (GE) salmon.

It has chosen Ohio, a state in the Midwestern region of the United States, for its next aquaculture farm location, where it expects to produce 10,000 metric tons of AquaBounty GM Atlantic salmon.

AquaBounty plans to construct a 479,000 square foot facility in Pioneer, OH before the end of 2021. AquaBounty is set to kick off stocking the Ohio facility with salmon by 2023.

“We are excited to announce Piooner, Ohio, as the location of our next farm. After an extensive analysis of the site data and the completion of substantial due diligence, Pioneer met our selection requirements,” said Sylvia Wulf, chief executive officer of AquaBounty.

She expressed the company’s pleasure in working with the Village of Pioneer, Williams County, the Regional Growth Partnership, and Ohio state officials.

The State of Ohio is finalizing a package of economic incentives to support AquaBounty’s selection of Pioneer. The site purchase is being completed, with construction to begin before year- end.

JobsOhio President, J.P. Nauseef noted that AquaBounty’s investment will further solidify the region’s role as a national leader in agribusiness production and distribution.

According to Food Safety News, the Ohio location will be eight times larger than the AquaBountry farm in Albany, IN, which has a production capacity of 1,200 metric tons.

The Food and Drug Administration approved AquaBounty’s genetic salmon after an extensive review as it has more critics than other novel foods, such as cell-cultured meats. The agency has focused on keeping retailers from selling the AquaBounty product.

AquaBounty says its GE salmon involves a single specific molecular modification in salmon that results in more rapid early growth. The company says its challenge will be keeping up with global consumer demands for its high-quality seafood.

At Prince Edward Island, Canada, Albany, IN, and Pioneer, OH, the company will raise salmon free of antibiotics and other contaminants. The land-based systems mean wild fish populations are protected.

Its “Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS)” is reduced carbon with zero risks of polluting marine ecosystems.

Arnarlax awarded BRC Certification

Icelandic salmon company Arnarlax has been awarded the all-important British Retail Consortium (BRC) food safety certification for its processing operation in Bíldudalur in the Westfjords region.

BRC Food Safety certification gives the company, which trades internationally under the name Icelandic Salmon AS, a key to the potentially lucrative UK retail market.

The BRC scheme has been designed to implement best practice for food safety and quality. The standard looks at the measurement, review and assessment of any factors that influence food safety.

As the BRC Food Safety standard is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the certification provides businesses with international recognition for food safety.

Many retailers, manufacturers, and food service companies will require a third-party food safety certification such as BRC Food Safety as part of their supplier approval process.

“We are proud of this supplement. This certification confirms that hygiene, quality and safety standards in the processing are at the highest international level. Behind a certification like this lies a lot of work and preparation and with a good team, the goal was achieved!” said Arnarlax.

The farm was first incorporated in 2009 and the first harvest took place in 2016. The company is vertically integrated with its own hatcheries, sea sites, wellboat, and processing plant.

In June 2016, Arnarlax acquired neighbor company Fjarðalax, becoming the undisputed leader in Icelandic salmon farming.

Arnarlax, which is now largely owned by the Norwegian salmon giant SalMar, is planning a major expansion in output over the next few years, reflecting growing confidence in Iceland’s aquaculture sector.

According to SeafoodSource, on 14 February, SalMar entered into an agreement to acquire 3,268,670 shares in the Icelandic salmon producer at USD 6.41 per share, with the deal totaling almost USD 21 million. It increased its shares in the company to 54.23% in 2019 hence gaining control.