Blue Ridge Aquaculture is proudly the world’s largest producer of tilapia using indoor recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).
The sustainable farming method, with a small ecological footprint, allows around four million pounds of tilapia to be produced each year in a clean and controlled environment that recycles 85 per cent of its water.
Despite the intensive production, the company assures that its fish are happy and healthy and that antibiotics and hormones are not used.
Speaking to Joel K. Bourne Jr. for the June issue of National Geographic, Blue Ridge Aquaculture president, Bill Martin, said that his model is based on the poultry industry. “The difference is our fish are perfectly happy,” he continued.
“How do you know they’re happy?” Mr Bourne asked, noting that the mat of tilapia in the tank looks thick enough for to walk on.
“Generally they show they’re not happy by dying,” Mr Martin said. “I haven’t lost a tank of fish yet.”
Each day Mr Martin sells 12,000 pounds of live tilapia to Asian markets from Washington, D.C., to Toronto, and he’s planning another farm on the West Coast.
You can view more sustainable aquaculture practices in the full National Geographic article by clicking here.