AquaBounty can get a salmon steak to the table in 18 months. Photo: AquaBounty

Transgenic-salmon farmer AquaBounty posts $2.4m loss

Transgenic-salmon farmer AquaBounty has posted a net loss of $2.4 million for the first quarter of 2018, up from $2.1m in the corresponding period last year.

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Ron Stotish: "Achieved our two main objectives."

The company said the loss reflected pre-production costs at its farm site near Albany, Indiana and commencement of research and development activities at its Rollo Bay hatchery on Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada.

In January AquaBounty completed a public offering of common shares and warrants, raising net funds of $10.6m.

The company recently announced that it had received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to raise its AquAdvantage salmon at its land-based contained facility in Indiana. 

But the company is currently prevented from importing its AquAdvantage salmon eggs for the facility from Canada due to the existence of an “Import Alert” pending the FDA’s issuance of final labelling guidance for the product. 

AquaBounty said it is fully prepared to comply with labelling requirements and hopes that this process will conclude in the near term.

Chief executive Ronald Stotish stated: “In this quarter, we achieved our two main objectives of completing our public offering and receiving FDA approval for our Indiana farm site facility. We anticipate stocking the tanks in the coming months.”

Currently AquaBounty grows its fish in a land-based facility in Panama and sells fillets in Canada. The company made product revenues of $19,097 in the first quarter of 2018.

The AquAdvantage salmon is an Atlantic salmon with a growth hormone-regulating gene from a Pacific Chinook salmon – with a promoter from an ocean pout – added.

This gene enables it to grow year-round instead of only during spring and summer. The fish grows to market size in 16 to 18 months rather than three years.

AquAdvantage salmon are only grown on land-based farms, to prevent any possibility of escape into the wild.