Crab meat producer acquires B.C. land-based salmon farm

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Blue Star eyes up family-owned Taste of BC Aquafarms, which farms steelhead salmon.

In a press release, Florida-based Blue Star writes that it has signed a term sheet to acquire Taste of BC Aquafarms, a family-owned and operated land-based salmon farm, based in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

Oldest
BC Aquafarms is the oldest continuously operating RAS full grow-out salmon farm in North America, it said. It’s “Little Cedar Falls” brand steelhead has been on the market since 2013.

The deal is subject to certain closing conditions. The aim is to eventually produce 100,000 tonnes of salmon.

Blue Star’s acquisition of Taste of BC Aquafarms is being done through a combination of cash, equity and assumption of debt. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

Blue crab meat
“We believe land-based salmon farming can be part of the solution of healing our environment and will meet the gap between the growing global demand of salmon and a supply that is limited by its environmental impact, as well as geographical and governmental constraints,” said Blue Star Chairman and CEO, John Keeler.

The company, based in Miami, sells refrigerated pasteurized Blue Crab meat, and other premium seafood products.< Keeler added: “We are very thrilled to partner with the Atkinson family, the founders and operators of Taste of BC Aquafarms, who have been pioneers in RAS farming since 2010. They’ve built a proven and scalable model and we are excited to strategically fund their next level of growth and use our sales platform to market their delicious, sashimi-grade, steelhead salmon.” “We are delighted to be joining Blue Star Foods through this acquisition. From the beginning, I wanted to create a RAS model that we could easily replicate in multiple locations, with predictable outcomes, and leave a legacy of a new Industry of land-based salmon production in British Columbia and beyond,” said Steve Atkinson, President of Taste of BC Aquafarms. 100,000 metric tonnes
He added, “We took a different approach than others in developing RAS for salmon production. First, we wanted to develop a proven, successful culture system, and now we are looking to deploy this system in multiples. Our modular design strategy works and is highly scalable. I see no reason why the RAS Salmon production in BC cannot potentially exceed 100,000 metric tonnes annual production in the next two decades. Along with Blue Star, we intend to be leaders in this new industry.”