An illustration of AquaBounty's planned 10,000-tonne salmon farm in Ohio.

AquaBounty granted new water permit for Ohio salmon farm

Company gets green light to extract up to 5.25 millions gallons per day


Land-based salmon farmer AquaBounty has announced that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Water Resources has issued a replacement withdrawal and consumptive use permit enabling necessary water use at its 10,000-tonne capacity facility under construction in Pioneer, Ohio.

The permit authorises water withdrawal up to 5.25 million gallons per day (MGD) and the consumptive use authorised by the permit shall not exceed 0.065 MGD. Now that the new permit has been issued, AquaBounty will relinquish the prior permit that was granted for a different wellfield earlier this year.

There had been concerns from some local people that the amount of water required by AquaBounty might cause a shortage.

Addressing concerns

AquaBounty chief executive Sylvia Wulf said: “We are very pleased with ODNR’s decision to issue our water withdrawal and consumptive use permit. We submitted a detailed application and provided thoughtful responses to 263 comments from the community that were carefully reviewed.

“Based on facts developed through extensive scientific investigation, analysis, testing, modelling, and review by experts and regulatory agencies, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to addressing the concerns of the local community.

“AquaBounty understands the importance of being a good neighbour and is committed to our role in providing economic support to Pioneer and Williams County. We also appreciate the support we have received from numerous stakeholders in the community and look forward to our continued work with local, county and state agencies to bring sustainable land-based aquaculture to Ohio.”

Faster growing fish

AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage salmon contain an inherited genetic modification that means they reach harvest size more quickly than conventional Atlantic salmon.

The Massachusetts-headquartered company operates a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Albany, Indiana, which has a capacity to produce 1,200 tonnes of fish a year.

The Ohio RAS facility is the first of five 10,000-tonne on-land farms that AquaBounty plans for North America. Work started on the site earlier this year but has been slowed while the company seeks ways to counter rising costs caused by inflation.

AquaBounty held a ground-breaking ceremony at the Ohio site in April.