“Very receptive environment” made Ohio a desirable site for AquaBounty’s new land-based salmon farm

In an interview with SalmonBusiness, AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf has praised the welcoming atmosphere from officials and and locals in Ohio after the company broke ground at its new land-based salmon farm in the state.

Having evaluated over 230 sites in the eastern half of the United States, considering factors, such as water quality and quantity, AquaBounty picked Ohio, seeing it as the “heartland” of farming.

A welcoming environment
AquaBounty has recently been impacted by resistance from regulators and residents elsewhere in the United States. The termination of an application for a proposed American Aquafarms salmon farm has thrown AquaBounty’s plans to provide eggs to the facility into limbo.

However, Wulf praised Ohio and Indiana, where the company already operates a facility, for seeing aquaculture as “an opportunity to build a new industry and to expand what they do in terms of a traditional definition of agriculture.”

“We want to be part of the agricultural community in Ohio, just like we are in Indiana, and we found them to be incredibly receptive to that,” Wulf told SalmonBusiness.

Read also: AquaBounty surprised by Maine’s decision to cancel American Aquafarms applications over egg concerns

A new form of agriculture
“Ohio is definitely supportive of what we’re doing. They look at this as an opportunity to create a new form of agriculture,” Wulf stated during the interview, highlighting how the US doesn’t currently do much aquaculture but, with land-based systems, they can now explore salmon farming anywhere.

Looking at the benefits of being in “an agriculturally oriented geography,” Wulf highlighted how even the waste generated by the planned facility can be beneficial to the local community, with waste streams available to be used as fertiliser on farmland.

Read also: Maine resistance hampers approval of aquaculture projects

Sustainability is core
Within its press release announcing the groundbreaking ceremony in Ohio, AquaBounty highlighted how the new facility will help the company “continue to generate a lower carbon footprint compared to flying salmon produced overseas…while using natural resources responsibly and sustainably.”

For Wulf, “safe, secure, sustainable food production is core” to what the company does, with the AquaBounty boss calling it “critically important” and a “compelling reason to do what we’re doing.”

The facility has been designed by the company in a manner that seeks to make it as environmentally responsible as possible, including through the use of the water, renewable energy, how AquaBounty can maximise use of waste streams, etc.

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