Aquaculture for all

Site Preparation Begins for First Open-Ocean Tilapia Farm


PANAMA - Open-ocean tilapia producer Aquasense Panama has begun site preparation at its Gulf of Panam ocean site where the company plans to develop the seafood industrys first-ever open-ocean project for farm-raised saltwater tilapia products for the US market.

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“Our project has been gaining traction since we announced it last year and, thanks to additional seed funding, pre-ops can start,” said James F. Reilly, president and CEO of Aquasense.

According to Sjef van Eijs, chief operating officer of Aquasense: “We are excited about getting in the water for site preparation and we expect to do this work on time and on budget.”

In March, the company signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Miami-based Gamma Seafood Corporation, a division of the Alfa Gamma Group, to market and distribute products resulting from this innovative project.

Aquasense Panama is an early-stage aquaculture company with the mission of contributing to meeting the rising food needs of a growing world population in a sustainable manner.

“We have developed a non-traditional farming method for tilapia based on our preliminary research,” said Mr Reilly.

“That research showed that, when tilapia are reared in the full salinity of the open ocean and given nutritious food, the result is a much-improved fish product in terms of both taste and texture. In 2007, we set out to change the paradigm of fish farming by bringing our operations to the pristine waters surrounding Panama.”

The project responds to predictions about world population growth and demands for seafood.

“We see this project as a sustainable solution to a global problem,” said Mr Reilly.

“The US Census Bureau is projecting that the global population will explode to eight billion by the year 2020. The UN is projecting that the world will need an additional 40 million tons of seafood by the year 2030. With commercial fishing fleets unable to meet the growing demand, the only viable solution is aquaculture. Our mission is to contribute to meeting the rising food needs of a growing world population in a sustainable manner. We are very excited about taking the next step in bringing this important process to fruition.”

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