From left: Bruno Sardenberg, Damien Claire, Johan Andreassen, Robert Runarsson (StofnFiskur), Christy Belfranin, Mario Palma and Gudmundur Ragnarsson (StofnFiskur) at the Bluehouse site in Miami. Photo: StofnFiskur.

Milestone month for Atlantic Sapphire's US Bluehouse

A milestone has been reached for what is destined to be the world’s largest land-based salmon farm.

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Bluehouse, located in Miami, Florida stocked 400,000 salmon eggs into its new hatchery operation this week. The eggs were delivered from StofnFiskur in Iceland.

Another 400,000 eggs are scheduled to be stocked next week. The eggs are the first commercial salmon eggs ever introduced into a commercial hatchery in the state of Florida.

First harvests in 2020

Johan Andreassen, chief executive of Altantic Sapphire, said: “We are very pleased with the quality of the ova we received. These eggs are the starting point of our production in the Miami facility, and we are expecting to harvest the first batches in the fall of 2020.”

In a statement, StofnFiskur said its production model has some similarities with the Atlantic Sapphire model, holding the broodstock in land-based systems throughout the entire life cycle, and using deep-drilled well water, free of any contagious pathogens. The company’s closed compartment system has been approved by MAST in Iceland according to OIE standards, as the only salmon egg producer in Europe.

Biosecurity standards

Andreassen said: “Biosecurity is very important to us, as we are running a full-scale land based operation based on RAS technology. Knowing that the eggs from Iceland hold the highest biosecurity standards in the industry is an important measure of security to our Bluehouse technology system.”

Jónas Jónasson, chief executive of StofnFiskur, which is part of Benchmark Genetics, said: “Through the years, StofnFiskur has developed products specially adapted for land-based systems and we have significant experience in supplying ova across the world. Our breeding operations in Iceland provides eggs every month of the year in order to satisfy the demand by the new and fast developing global land-based salmon industry.”  

Production focus

Andreassen said the company and its employees were very excited “and we are happy to get into production focus.”

Phase one at Bluehouse is projected to produce approximately 10,000 tonnes of salmon annually, with harvesting beginning in Q3, 2020. The company has also secured US water permits to produce up to 90,000 tonnes of salmon onsite each year.  

Atlantic Sapphire has been operating in Langsand, Denmark since 2011. In the US, the company spent over seven years to identify the ideal location for Bluehouse and win permission for the development.