AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AQB) (“AquaBounty” or the “Company”), a land-based aquaculture company utilizing technology to enhance productivity and sustainability, today announced that purchase orders have been received for the planned harvest of 5 metric tons of its genetically engineered (GE) Atlantic salmon. The first harvest is scheduled to be conducted at the end of May from the Company’s Indiana farm. The Company will continue to ramp production to its full capacity throughout the year. AquaBounty is the first and only company in the world to raise and market a GE Atlantic salmon approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada.
AquaBounty pioneered a sustainable and efficient way to meet today’s seafood demand using genetic engineering. The benefits of a one-time trait modification accomplished over three decades ago continue today through conventional breeding and spawning methods. The thirty-year journey to market included two decades of regulatory review culminating in FDA approval in 2015 and Health Canada approval in 2016.
AquaBounty’s GE Atlantic salmon reach harvest weight faster and more efficiently than Atlantic salmon grown in sea cages. Raised in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) where the feeding cycle and growing environment are optimized, AquaBounty can produce up to 70 percent more fresh salmon annually compared to conventional Atlantic salmon grown in the same period under the same conditions. The benefit is a fresh, healthy protein that is produced more efficiently and feeds more people, which is good for consumers and the planet.
“I’m proud to see AquaBounty reach this important milestone using science and technology to provide sustainable seafood for a growing population,” said AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf. “Our land-based aquaculture technology allows us to bring to market a healthy protein source. By raising our fish in freshwater from hatch to harvest, we offer an Atlantic salmon with a fresh, mild taste that consumers will enjoy.”
Raised in freshwater farms in America’s heartland in Albany, Indiana and in Rollo Bay, Prince Edward Island, Canada, AquaBounty’s salmon are free of antibiotics and ocean contaminants. Controlling the growing environment prevents exposure to parasites and pathogens that can lead to disease. AquaBounty’s fish swim and school naturally under the watchful eyes of carefully trained and experienced team members.
Wild salmon fisheries face increasing challenges to their habitat and their health. By locating salmon farming operations on land and following strict bio-security measures with multiple layers of containment that prevent escapes, AquaBounty helps protect wild salmon populations and native fisheries that are so important to Indigenous communities and others.
“The AquaBounty strategy for facility design and operation is driven by important considerations for the health of salmon,” said Wulf. “Our goal is to provide a delicious salmon that is produced in a secure and sustainable manner and raised right here in the United States.”