Washington, D.C. – A new hatchery may be in the works for Branzino producer Ideal Fish in Waterbury, Connecticut.
By Mari-Len De Guzman
Ideal Fish president and CEO Eric Pedersen told Hatchery International his company is planning to add a hatchery to its 63,000-sq.ft. RAS facility. Although the timelines are contingent upon the company securing funding, the chief executive is optimistic that the new hatchery will be operational by 2021.
Ideal Fish is the only commercial scale producer of European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in the U.S., and one of only a few producers successfully rearing marine species in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). It produces 125 metric tons of Branzino per year. Its RAS system recirculates 650,000 gallons of water across its nursery, grow-out tanks as well as its salt water mixing and storage tanks.
Pedersen said his company is currently importing Branzino fry from Les Poissons du Soleil outside of Montpellier in France. “It just makes sense to have a hatchery in our facility,” Pedersen said, adding the long trans-Atlantic trip from France can be hard on the fish.
Pedersen presented at RAStech 2019 this week. In his presentation, Pedersen made the case for rearing high-value species in a RAS environment, outlining the benefits for consumers: better and fresh taste; greater shelf life; locally sourced and full traceable; environmentally sustainable; and no antibiotics and other chemicals on the fish.