Land-based steelhead salmon farmer aiming for 21,000 tonnes a year by 2028

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Crab meat producer Blue Star completes acquisition of family-owned Taste of BC Aquafarms. Aims for large-scale rollout.

In December 2020, Florida-based Blue Star wrote that it signed a term sheet to acquire Taste of BC Aquafarms, a family-owned and operated land-based salmon farm, based in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

Blue Star wrote on Monday that it has completed the acquisition, with further details on the scale. The site currently produces 100-tonnes of steelhead salmon a year.

“We believe that RAS is the future of our industry and win-win for all the stakeholders involved in a seafood supply chain that is sustainable over the long-term,” said Blue Star Foods CEO John Keeler in a press release.

“We have as an internal company goal to be producing 21,000 metric tonnes of product by 2028. Our job is to get the resources for Ben Atkinson and his team to scale their existing technology and proven methodology to get to those numbers. One of the things you are going to be hearing from us in the future is that Taste of BC is producing more RAS steel-head salmon that is being consumed in the marketplace than many of our publicly traded peers. We believe that when properly resourced, we are more likely to hit our production goals than other folks,” he added.

“The Atkinson Family is delighted to be joining forces with Blue Star through this acquisition. Almost 10 years ago I set out to create a salmon RAS model that could be replicated in multiple locations with predictable and dependable results. Our staff, family, and various partners have helped us achieve that original goal, and now Blue Star will help us implement the large-scale rollout,” said Taste of BC Aquafarms president and co-founder Steve Atkinson.

“We took a different approach than others developing RAS for salmon production. Ours is a more modular strategy that can be launched with confidence and we believe will be highly scalable” said Atkinson.

Blue Star’s acquisition of Taste of BC Aquafarms is being done through a combination of cash, equity and assumption of debt. Newbridge Securities Corporation is acting as the exclusive M&A advisor to Blue Star Foods and the Crone Law Group is acting as the company’s legal counsel.


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