Fish growing at AquaBounty's Indiana facility will be ready for harvest in Q2. Photo: AquaBounty.

AquaBounty begins $10m share sale

Transgenic-salmon grower AquaBounty has commenced a public offering of $10 million of shares in the company.

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The Massachusetts-headquartered firm said it also expects to grant the underwriter of the offering a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional $1.5m of shares to cover over-allotments.

AquaBounty has previously outlined its intention to raise a net sum of $9.2m from the $10m share sale.

AquaBounty's fish grow more quickly than conventional Atlantic salmon during early stages of development.

Harvesting in Q2

It intends to use $2m of funds raised to continue construction and renovation of its 1,200-tonne-per-annum on-land farm at Albany in Indiana and 250-tonne farm at Rollo Bay on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Another £2m will be used for working capital costs associated with the continued grow-out of the first batches of fish now being raised at those farms, and the balance will be used for general corporate purposes.

AquaBounty expects it will begin harvesting fish at the Indiana farm in the second quarter of this year, and those at Rollo Bay in the fourth quarter. The company’s AquAdvantage salmon grow more quickly than conventional Atlantic salmon and require less feed.

Labelled as GM

Last year Lisa Murkowski, a Republican senator from the salmon fishing state of Alaska and a long-time opponent of AquaBounty’s fish, was able to insert a labelling clause in a government funding bill in an attempt to delay the sale of AquAdvantage salmon, possibly for years.

But AquaBounty believes it will be able to sell its fish when they’re ready.

AquaBounty’s chief executive, Sylvia Wulf, told Fish Farming Expert: “As we stated previously, our intention has always been to label our salmon when we launch into market later this year. Concerning the provision inserted by Senator Murkowski, we will be working with the US Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration on specific details for compliance.”

The chief executive added: “To be clear, there was nothing in the provision, or in the final law, that prevents AquaBounty from launching into market, and we plan to label accordingly. We plan to harvest and sell our AquAdvantage Salmon in Q4 this year.”