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Char Axed in Favour of Salmon and Trout

US - A change of ownership at a Southern West Virginia fish farm is also switching the prefernce of the stoc it produces.

Blue Ridge Aquaculture has announced it will switch the fish from arctic char to salmon and trout. The West Virginia spring water at the farm runs from an old coal mine and it will allow the company to farm pollutant-free salmon with minimal impact to the environment

According to The Gazette, the Martinsville corporation - home of the largest indoor tilapia farm in the United States - listed the West Virginia farm as one of its operations on its Web site late last week. A company statement said it  will continue operations at its current facilities to take advantage of its unique location and experienced work force.

"We hope to use the employees there," said Jim Franklin, vice president of Blue Ridge Aquaculture, in a telephone interview.

The fish farm, formely known as West Virginia Aqua LLC, was started by three coal-related companies - WW McDonald Land Co., Dingess Rum Properties and International Industries. It had produced and sold arctic char since 2002 to supermarket chains acorss the state and beyond.

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Ellen Hardy

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