Your verification ID is: guDlT7MCuIOFFHSbB3jPFN5QLaQ Big Computing: January 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Visit to a FIsh Farm

On Monday Chef Bun Lai and I traveled up to Turners Falls, MA to visit an aquaculture facility there called Australis.  Aquaculture ( fancy term for fish farming) is a hot topic currently. If done right fish farming produces vast amounts of high quality protein with minimal environmental impact. I was shocked to learn that Seafood is the second largest trade deficit for the United States after oil. Growth of this industry is not only important to establish a reliable source of sustainable food but economically to our country as well.

Australis is headed by Josh Goldman whose love for this business is unrestrained after more than 20 years working in aquaculture. His talks about the importance of this business will bring skeptical college students to their feet like in this youtube video. Josh is no less enthusiastic in person. However, it was his knowledge and the operations of his facility that was the most impressive parts on our tour.

The Australis Plant in Turners Fall produces Baramundi for the fresh fish market in the US. If you see live or fresh Baramundi for sale, it came out of this plant. They raise the fish from eggs to marketable product within the walls their building. Their tanks are closed loop producing little or no waste water to go back into the environment and only organic waste that is ideal fertilizer for the local farming community. This is the way a modern fish farm should be run! A good tasting fish whose production does not lay waste to the environment or consume unreasonable amounts of resources to produce. The selection to produce Baramundi instead of tilapia was no accident, but a long and detailed research project to determine the best species of fish to satisfy not only the consumers but also to satisfy the companies desires to be a responsible user of resources and caretaker of the environment.

Aquaculture is an important growth industry, and in the hands of people like those at Australis it is in good hands.