Indiana Farm Touts Genetically Modified, Fast-Growing Salmon


ALBANY, IND. (AP) — A fish farming pioneer in Albany, Indiana, says it expects to harvest genetically modified salmon at its indoor facility in the fourth quarter of this year.

AquaBounty Technologies developed the AquAdvantage salmon to grow faster than conventional Atlantic salmon.

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“We’re very excited,” AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf told the Star Press. “We’re finally commercialized.”

Wulf said she expects the farm to produce as much as 100 metric tons (220,000 pounds) of salmon per month.

The company has a processing plant under construction at the farm in Albany and its salmon are meanwhile processed in Chicago.

The Massachusetts-based company is also planning to build another fish farm in Indiana that would produce up to 1,667 metric tons (3.5 million pounds) per month, or 20,000 tons (44 million pounds) per year.

Wulf added that the company narrowed down its potential farm options to five locations, including some in Indiana.

“The challenge is enough water,” she said. “There is limited access to that kind of water.”

Phil Shambach, president of the Indiana Aquaculture Association, said that additional farm would be the largest land-based fish farm in the United States.

Shambach added that the state’s second largest farm is Ozark Fisheries in Martinsville, which produces ornamental breeds such as goldfish and koi.

Shambach, a tilapia farmer in Tippecanoe County, said the state produces other fish including Asian sea bass, trout, salmon, Pacific white shrimp, fresh water prawn, hybrid stripped bass, and largemouth bass.

AquaBounty will sell its fish fresh, with options to be purchased head-on, gutted or in other customized trim variations.

Several customers of AquaBounty who do their own processing for their direct customers will be purchasing whole fish until the company opens its Albany processing facility.

The U.S. imports 97% of the salmon on the market today, which is about 400,000 metric tons per year.