Ideal Fish has demonstrated that fully sustainable fish can be raised on land and harvested year-round free of anti-biotics, growth hormones, environmental degradation and the food miles associated with other methods of fish production or supply.
Waterbury, CT – March 15th, 2018 – A state of the art. fully self-contained 63,000 square foot facility in Waterbury, CT is ready to harvest its first Mediterranean Sea Bass (also known as Branzino) this May. Recirculating aquaculture is a hot concept drawing national media attention of late but to Waterbury, CT-based Ideal Fish it’s more than just a dream. In fact, over the last three years, Ideal Fish has taken the concept of indoor aquaculture and made it into a real-world economic reality. The innovative company launched in 2013 from the basement of a house in Stamford, CT is today housed within a 63,000 square foot building, repurposed from a button manufacturing operation. The Waterbury facility is one the most technically advanced indoor aquaculture facilities in the world containing game changing technology, state of the art equipment and advanced systems. This technology allows the company to be able to raise a sea going fish on land in salt water. With the new location in Waterbury, Ideal Fish is now poised to become an international model for building an economically viable business out of indoor year-round Aquaculture and Aquaponics (growing produce using the by-products of fish production).
“We believe that recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) offers the ideal solution to some of the serious challenges facing seafood consumers in this country when attempting to source fresh, high quality, traceable and safe seafood products”, said Eric Pedersen, Ideal Fish’s founder and CEO. “By locating RAS facilities directly into the markets they serve, fish can be supplied directly to retail outlets and consumers virtually on the same day they are harvested. RAS also addresses the critical responsibility of raising enough fish and other seafood products, in a long term sustainable way, to both feed the growing population and to protect our environment not just for today but well into the future.”
James MacKnight, Director of Sales & Marketing at Ideal Fish said, “We bring in our Branzino fingerlings into JFK from Europe once a month and grow them to market size in our indoor RAS facility in Waterbury. We are currently the only company in the USA raising Branzino. Our fish are 100% hormone, antibiotic and chemical free and are truly the cleanest, most sustainable and freshest Branzino in the USA market today. Up until now all Branzino being consumed in the USA has come from sea cages in the Mediterranean that are 4,000 miles from the east coast. This means that the fish has been out of the water for at least 5 days once it reaches the restaurant. By comparison, our fish is harvested and delivered into NYC within 24 hours of harvest. There is just no comparison,” MacKnight added.
Ideal Fish uses RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture System). Instead of the traditional method of growing fish outdoors in open ocean cages, ponds or raceways, a RAS rears fish in an indoor tank within a “controlled” environment. RAS filters, cleans and optimizes water conditions prior to recycling it back through to the fish. With low water requirements the RAS system is able to re-use up to 90% of the water.
Further, RAS is uniquely able to recover the waste products of fish production (feces, uneaten food and CO2) and use them to supply nutrients for vegetable, herb or leafy green production in an aquaponics system. This method allows the operator to create, year-round, the best possible environment for the fish to grow. Little to no outside influences or pathogens can affect the fish or the produce. All of the plants grown in an aquaponics system will be grown without the use of any pesticides or chemicals and will be certified organic. By August 2018 the facility will also contain an 8,000 square foot Aquaponics System
Ideal Fish will be able to harvest and grow approximately 260,000 lbs. of Branzino a year and (75,000 lbs.) of herbs and leafy greens a year. The customer base of the company will consist of the best restaurants, hotels and retail stores on the East Coast. Future plans include several more replicated sites raising different species of fish and greens. Ideal Fish is focused on disrupting the current food supply system by bringing fully self-contained facilities close to heavily populated areas where they are able to produce high quality, hyper local and fully sustainable fish and greens, guaranteeing a year-round, uninterrupted supply.
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