AquaBounty's Bioengineered Salmon Is Weeks Away

Oct. 30, 2020
First harvest is imminent, first sales expected in the new year.

AquaBounty Technologies is getting ready for its first "harvest" of genetically engineered salmon, the AquAdvantage salmon, in anticipation of first commercial sales early next year.

The company this week identified Mayfield, Ky., as the likely location for its third fish farm. If it proceeds, it will be the company's largest farm, with 10,000 metric ton annual production capacity – about eight times the size of its currently operating farm in Albany, Ind., which has a 1,200 metric ton annual production capacity. The company also has an aquaculture facility in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

A final location in Mayfield hasn't been selected, but construction is expected to begin in 2021. The fish farm will be ready for commercial production in 2023. It has the potential to create 70-90 jobs.

The AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon was "genetically engineered one time 30 years ago," the company website says. "It's the safe and fresh choice–responsibly raised right here in the U.S."

According to our early stories, the company has inserted a gene from the Pacific Chinook salmon, a faster growing but less desirable fish, which enables this Atlantic salmon to grow to market size in just 18 months instead of the three years that it takes ordinary Atlantic salmon to grow.

The FDA (in 2015) and Health Canada have proclaimed the bioengineered fish safe, although we're not sure it will need to carry the USDA's "bioengineered" symbol.

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