Octaform Systems is a proud partner of Saudi Arabia's National Prawn Company (NPC). Known as one of the largest, fully integrated aquaculture prawn farms in the world, the NPC produces shrimp to a variety of sizes for countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Japan, Korea, USA, China and Australia.
Here are some aerial shots of the Octaform built Broodstock Octagonal Tanks that are underway at the NPC site...
Local Ocean's home-grown Branzino
HUDSON, N.Y. - For the first time in North America, consumers in New York State can enjoy locally-grown European Sea Bass, otherwise known as Branzino, raised by Local Ocean in a fully-contained, saltwater environment in Hudson, NY. Local Ocean has built an enclosed marine aquaculture unit where water recirculates as it is purified by beneficial bacteria and plants in several stages of filtration so it can be returned clean to the fish tanks. No water or biological waste leaves this land-based aquaculture system which recreates the natural marine environment.
Due to its pioneering technology, Local Ocean is breaking new ground in bringing high-quality, locally-grown, saltwater fish to seafood connoisseurs state-wide. The company maintains water temperature, salinity, and a host of other parameters identical to the natural habitat conditions required to successfully cultivate the species grown there. The much anticipated Local Ocean-raised Branzino, prized for its firm flesh and fine flavor, can already be found on the shelves of such trend-setters in sustainable seafood retail as Wegmans and FreshDirect.
Octaform tanks are ideal for high performance aquaculture applications. Click here to learn more.
"We are truly excited about this," said Carl Salamone, Vice President of Seafood at Wegmans. "It's a big win for our customers and for the environment, every way you look at it. These fish are absolutely delicious. We can harvest them without depleting ocean fish populations, and the indoor ecosystem in which they grow is a model of environmental sustainability. And because they're raised in the US within a few hours from most Wegmans stores, less fuel is needed to bring the fish to market than when ordering from overseas."
Local Ocean's Branzino was first showcased at the tenth annual New York Farm Day (Sept. 20) sponsored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. One of the most popular events on Capitol Hill, New York Farm Day features the great foods and wines produced in New York State. Local Ocean's home-grown fish was a favorite among event attendees who had an opportunity to taste the newly launched Branzino as well as the company's already well established Mediterranean Sea Bream (Royal Dorade).
"With the addition of Branzino, Local Ocean will continue to offer more sustainable and healthy varieties of seafood that will be made available locally," said Raymond Mizrahi, Local Ocean's VP of Sales and Marketing. "Regardless of our commitment to have our trade partners receive fish within the same day of harvest, our fish are inspected for quality control constantly. We hope to redefine how we consume fish in a sustainable, local, and fresh manner. Our trade partners share the same commitment, and it's through their help that we will get this message across."
In addition to Sea Bream and European Sea Bass, other premium saltwater species raised sustainably at Local Ocean's Hudson, NY facility include Yellowtail whose market launch is expected in December, Black Sea Bass, Striped Bass, and White Sea Bass.
Norwegian Salmon producers, Salmar are expanding their salmon production facilities with Octaform!
Octaform's finished forming system in the final phases of construction at Salmar's site
Currently under construction, the 130 million krone (2.3 million USD) investment has already caught the interest of
the Norwegian media with local newspaper, Lokalavisa making it today's cover story.
The Norwegian word, "Gigantsatsing" roughly translates as "Giant Investment".
Perfect for this type project, the Octaform walls provide a smooth, easy-to-clean fish-friendly environment. The watertight system not only forms the concrete in-place, it offers unparalleled bacteria-resistance.
Watch this space for updates as the build progresses!
Hot on the heels of a comprehensive Time Magazine cover story spotlighting aquaculture, the US federal government announced today a new initiative to help meet a growing demand for seafood, while creating jobs and restoring healthy ecosystems.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aquaculture Technology Transfer Initiative will foster public-private partnerships on regional projects that showcase innovative sustainable practices, jump start private sector investments, and create employment opportunities in coastal communities.
“Aquaculture is a critical component to meeting increasing global demand for seafood,” said NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco. “Job creation is a major focus of this administration. This initiative provides an opportunity to support innovation and growth in the private aquaculture sector, resulting in a healthy, local seafood supply and job growth at our working waterfronts.”
In June, the Department of Commerce and NOAA released national policies that support sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States. Americans import about 84 percent of their seafood, half of which is from aquaculture. The U.S. trade deficit in seafood currently exceeds $10 billion and continues to grow.
“Aquaculture can be a significant contributor to a ‘blue-green’ economy that both contributes to and benefits from healthy oceans and coasts,” Lubchenco said.
As part of this initiative, NOAA will work with its partners in the private sector, academia, government and communities to advance technology, monitor performance indicators, and showcase best practices and market-based standards. The initiative will be implemented with the active involvement of NOAA’s regional offices and science centers, Sea Grant Extension, and other federal, state, local and non-governmental partners.
Only 5% of the seafood consumed in the United States is from domestic aquaculture. AquaOptima used Octaform for this tank-build in Norway. To see the case study, click here.
The domestic aquaculture industry, both freshwater and marine, currently supplies about five percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. The cultivation of shellfish, such as oysters, clams, and mussels, comprises about two-thirds of U.S. marine aquaculture. Salmon and shrimp aquaculture contribute about 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Current production takes place mainly on land, in ponds, and in coastal state waters.
Aquaculture is in the forefront of the news lately with a large Canadian grocery chain pledging to remove red-listed seafood from its shelves and the US Congress blocking the approval of genetically modified salmon. Now Time magazine is weighing in.
This week's cover story, "The End of the Line" takes a hard look at the last wild food and how aquaculture may be its savior.
The UN reports that 32% of global fish stocks are either overexploited or depleted and up to 90% of large species are "fished-out".
Once common species like cod are almost extinct.
With this decline in stocks has come an upswing in demand for seafood. A growing middle class in developing countries across the planet are demanding high quality protein. The answer, according to the article, is in aquaculture.
Fish farming is hardly a new concept but it is in the last 50 years that it has really emerged as an industry. This industry is not without its controversies, however. Marine conservationists, while conceding the relief that farmed fish offers wild stocks, worry that open pen aquaculture inadvertently introduces disease and waste into the coastal waters used to raise the fish.
Recirculating aquaculture systems operating in farms such as Australis' barramundi operation in Massachusetts may end that debate. These systems attempt to replicate the natural life cycle of fish in a tank environment isolated from wild species and also managing the effluent created in the process.
In 2006, Australis used Octaform to build its tanks.
Click here to see how Octaform can create the ideal closed-containment environment for aquaculture.
The RAS model is not without its challenges, however. Some fish are better suited to it than others and most of the time it is more costly. Advances in technology are promising quicker yields and less environmental impact than open pen farming and although this has yet to be proven, projects are underway on both coasts of Canada (see here and here) to prove that closed containment technologies are a viable option from both an environmental and an economic perspective.
Ultimately, the article suggests, we may have little choice in the matter. With an exploding global need for high quality protein and a steadily depleting source, aquaculture will need to step up.
"...if we're all going to survive and thrive in a crowded world, we'll need to cultivate the seas just as we do the land. If we do it right, aquaculture can be one more step toward saving ourselves. And if we do it well, we may even enjoy the taste of it."
Read the full text of the Time Magazine feature here: "The End of the Line"
For more on Octaform aquaculture, click here.
Old McDonald had a farm...
...and on his farm he had a tank full of tilapia?
With an ever-increasing global need for sustainable animal protein, agriculturists are turning to aquaculture for an alternative source of revenue.
Currently the fastest growing segment in the farming industry, inland aquaculture is taking off in a big way.
Here are 5 reasons why...
America’s appetite for seafood is growing and with 83% of it being imported from outside of the country, farmers are recognizing an opportunity to feed this demand from their existing infrastructures.
Montana Farmers Raising Salmon
At the end of last year, the Miller Hutterite Colony in Montana suspended hog-farming in favor of Coho salmon. Working with Envirotech Ag Systems and Aquaseed Corp., they started the first ever commercial salmon farm in the state.
The UN has estimated that the world's food output needs to double by 2050. With depleting wild stocks and an increasing demand for seafood, land-based, closed-containment aquaculture offers a sustainable source of protein that can be grown locally.
Bruce Swift runs a land-based aquaculture
operation in Aggasiz, British Columbia.
Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology is becoming cheaper, more efficient and environmentally friendly. Tank technology now offers a diverse selection of options from smaller FRP (fiberglass) tanks to larger energy efficient PVC-lined concrete tanks.
Smart aquaculture operations are now producing profitable byproducts from their effuse. High-value greenhouse crops like tomatoes can be fertilized with fish waste water. At the same time, tomato beds are used as sand biofilters to clean the water of ammonia wastes so that it can be recycled back into the fish tanks.
Aquaculture has long been recognized as a growth industry by post-secondary institutions; high school agriculture programs are also starting to follow suit.
Agriculture Students turn to Aquaculture
Octaform manure tank and barns built for Hargraves Farms, Brandon, MB
Good news for Canadian Farmers looking for a break. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has made it easier for Farmers to have access to credit for the establishment, improvement and development of farms. This newly ammended funding supports the renewal of Canada's weakening agricultural sector and enables co-operatives to have better access to market opportunities.
The CALA program (Canadian Agricultural Loans Act) features up to $500,000 in loans for Lands and Buildings, and up to $350,000 for other loan purposes.
Eligible applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
Be established farmers
Beginning/start-up farmers (less than 6 years of farming)
Agricultural co-operatives with a majority (50% +1) farmer membership
Farmers assuming ownership of the family farm
The terms for the loans are pretty flexible- maximum term for loans is 10 years, with 15 years for loans on land purchases. Interest to be paid on a floating rate is the lender’s prime rate plus a maximum of one percent. Interest to be paid on a fixed-term rate uses a formula based on the lender’s residential mortgage rate plus a maximum of one percent.
The new ammendments to CALA was implemented in June 2009 and since then, the program issued over $146.6 million in loans to Canadian farmers, including $17.7 million in loans for new farmers.
With the help of CALA's finiancial support to the Canadian farmers and Agricultural co-operatives have a bright future to look forward to.
Check out: www.agr.gc.ca/cala, email@example.com or call 1-888-346-2511 for more info.