AquaCon, a Norway-based aquaculture firm, is partnering with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology as part of a new international aquaculture project. This global partnership will funnel up to a $1 billion investment into Maryland's Eastern Shore and local aquaculture industry.
The fish farming project, which is set to be based in Federalsburg, will use the funding to help support a largescale land-based Atlantic salmon aquaculture production effort, known as the Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS) project. AquaCon plans to invest a total of $1 billion over the course of five years that will be put toward building and maintaining a facility that hopes to produce capacity for 45,000 metric tons of fish (or nearly 50,000 U.S. tons). The project is expected to help AquaCon and Maryland become a more competitive facet of the international aquaculture market.
The project is expected to begin construction during the first quarter of next year. The facility is also expected to help kickstart job creation and economic development in the surrounding areas by tapping into other similar industries, such as seafood processing and distribution.
“Maryland and the Department of Commerce are supportive of the development of a strong aquaculture industry,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We look forward to working with our partners at all levels of government to help make this project a positive reality for Maryland and the Eastern Shore.”
For more information and for UMBC’s full release, click here.
Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC. Yonathan Zohar (left), UMBC professor of marine biotechnology, and Jorge Gomezjurado (right), faculty research assistant at IMET, at the Aquaculture Research Center.