AgriMarine Holdings Inc. (the “Company” or “AgriMarine”), the leader in floating solid-wall containment technology and production for sustainable aquaculture, is pleased to report its progress towards achieving its business goals and milestones:
First Closed Containment Floating Salmon Farm Launched in Canada
The Company launched its first commercial scale, solid-wall marine tank for its salmon rearing operation in Campbell River, British Columbia. The Middle Bay facility is operated in conjunction with Middle Bay Sustainable Aquaculture Institute (“MBSAI”). This milestone marked the culmination of years of research and development into alternative sustainable technologies for salmon farming.
The tank was stocked with 56,000 Chinook salmon juveniles who have grown from 35 grams to an average of 1.7 kg in 12 months and are in optimal health, without the use of antibiotics or therapeutics. The AgriMarine waste removal system is keeping solid waste from polluting the surrounding marine environment and the Company is pleased to report the system’s effectiveness in preventing mammal predator conflicts.
The Company’s Middle Bay Project received further funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (“SDTC”). SDTC increased their contribution to the Middle Bay Project from the $2.36 million previously committed to a maximum of $5.77 million.
AgriMarine subsequently signed a multi-year supply agreement with a major US retailer for the sale of the Chinook salmon raised in the Middle Bay facility. Additional tanks are scheduled for installation in 2012.
AgriMarine’s Flagship Salmon Farm in the People’s Republic of China – Expansion of Tanks and Salmon Sales
AgriMarine’s main rearing facility in Benxi, China, had its second successful harvest of salmon trout which was sold to the 5-Star restaurant and hotel service industry throughout China. With crops of Pacific Steelhead trout, Chinook or King salmon and Coho salmon, each tank has the capacity for 50,000 to 75,000 fish with a farm output of between 231 to 338 metric tonnes per harvest cycle (14-18 months). In China, current production capacity at the Company’s hatchery is 2.4 million fingerlings and inventory includes 100,000 Chinook salmon now in production, with an additional 600,000 Chinook and Coho juveniles. In December, 1,000,000 Coho eggs were shipped to the hatchery, and an additional 800,000 Chinook eggs are expected in the first quarter 2012.
One additional floating solid-wall tank was installed with another scheduled for deployment in Q1, 2012. The Company will continue to focus on tank deployment in 2012 and increasing salmon sales by entering the retail market with its local supply of Pacific Salmon, reared in non-polluting Clean Technology.
Technology Licensing in Europe
With proven technology and harvests underway, AgriMarine established a subsidiary in Norway in order to access the Norwegian and European salmon markets. With concession applications now awaiting approvals from the Norwegian Government, AgriMarine Norway AS is working with two salmon producing companies to demonstrate the environmental and economic advantages of the AgriMarine System in that country.
Trial Projects for Expansion into New Species
The Company entered into a joint venture with the Zhoushan Fisheries Research Institute in the People’s Republic of China (ZFRI) for a commercial scale research project for the rearing of Large Yellow Croaker fish in a solid-wall containment system. The joint venture project is an important step for the Company as it advances its technology into other high value warm water species in China. The first harvest of Yellow Croaker commenced prior to the 2012 Spring Festival.
With a Research & Development Agreement with Tokai University in Japan, AgriMarine also initiated a project to rear Bluefin tuna on a commercial scale, using AgriMarine’s proprietary solid-wall closed containment systems. The Company is currently investigating appropriate sites for the trial project.
Research and Development
AgriMarine appointed world-class scientists with appropriate life-time aquaculture expertise and experience in both industry and academia to join the Company’s Scientific Development Committee. The Committee advises AgriMarine’s Board and Management on matters of fish health, disease prevention, husbandry, applied science and technology as it pertains to the AgriMarine System. Committee Members Dr. Albright, Dr. Kay and Dr. Leong, focused on developing appropriate vaccines for a disease-free culture of salmon and Rainbow trout. To this end, the Company, in association with the Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute in Guangzhou, developed fish vaccines not currently available in China.