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Aquaponic salmon farm is first RAS to win BAP approval

Superior Fresh harvested its first Atlantic salmon, including this particularly large fish, in June. Photo: Steve Summerfelt
Superior Fresh harvested its first Atlantic salmon, including this particularly large fish, in June. Photo: Steve Summerfelt

One of the world’s largest aquaponics facilities, Superior Fresh in the United States, has attained Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification, the Global Aquaculture Alliance has announced.

Superior Fresh grows 18,000 heads of lettuce per day using nutrients from fish tank water.
Superior Fresh grows 18,000 heads of lettuce per day using nutrients from fish tank water.

It’s the first aquaponics facility in the BAP program as well as the first land-based, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) raising Atlantic salmon and steelhead trout in the BAP program.

Wisconsin-based Superior Fresh operates a 160,000-square-foot aquaponics facility (soon to expand to 300,000 square feet) on a 720-acre in the rural community of Northfield.

It began selling its first Atlantic salmon in Festival Foods stores in the northern US state on July 4 after harvesting 900kg HOG fish in the last week in June.

Triple capacity

Superior Fresh uses a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) which re-uses 99.9% of its water. The system has the capacity to produce a modest 72 tonnes of salmon and trout per year, but plans are under way to triple capacity.

The company is also looking at the possibility of building other aquaponics facilities elsewhere.

Nutrient-rich water from the Superior Fresh fish tanks is put through bio-filters before being circulated in a hydroponic glasshouse that grows 18,000 heads of lettuce every day, which adds up to 816 tonnes annually. The water is then be re-used in the tanks.

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