Miami, Florida, U.S.A.-based Blue Star Foods announced on 8 November its subsidiary Taste of BC Aquafarms has chosen Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada as the location for its new recirculating aquaculture system (RAS).

The announcement comes on the heels of the company closing a USD 4 million (EUR 3.4 million) public offering. The net proceeds of the offering, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Blue Star, were approximately USD 3.6 million (EUR 3.1 million) after deducting the underwriting discount, underwriters’ fees and expenses, and the company’s estimated offering expenses.

The company said it plans to “use the proceeds to provide funding for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses, and capital expenditures.”

According to a press release, the company has agreed to a 20-year land lease agreement for the Deep Bay property, which comprises approximately 20 acres, with an option to expand onto an additional 10 acres. It plans to build a large-scale land-based steelhead trout farm on the site.

“The property is within a designated agricultural land reserve within the regional district of Nanaimo, which supports commercial aquaculture without additional re-zoning,” Blue Star said. “The site sits upon the highly productive Quadra Sediments litho-stratigraphic unit with an aquifer that produces high water volumes of exceptional quality suitable for land-based salmon production.”

Taste of BC CEO Ben Atkinson said his firm is excited to begin construction, and has identified numerous other suitable locations for the company’s plan to expands its RAS footprint in British Columbia.

“Expansion facilities in British Columbia will utilize renewable, low-cost hydro-electricity, which aligns with our core values of sustainable, low carbon-emission seafood production. The temperate rainforest climate of western British Columbia offers a lot of suitable locations to support our aggressive expansion plans,” he said.

The company earlier announced the completion of a preliminary design layout for a USD 30 million (EUR 25.9 million), 1,500-metric-ton (MT) steelhead farm in British Columbia. The Deep Bay location will feature that layout, which according to Atkinson “will potentially support up to 4,500 MT annual production.”

“Our strategy of replicated modular expansion allows us greater flexibility in site selection in contrast to businesses that are looking to build 10,000 MT facilities or larger. This first property meets all of our criteria for the next phase of our expansion,” Atkinson said.

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