In 2018, AquaBounty sold five tonnes of AquAdvantage salmon fillets in Canada.
In a financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2018, AquaBounty, the biotech that can grow land-based salmon to market size in about half the time of a traditional fish, reported a net loss for the year. Increased to USD 10.4 million, compared to 2017’s USD 9.3 million.
AquaBounty Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Wulf wrote: “This was a successful year in terms of our operational achievements as we continue to take steps forward that will ultimately lead to harvesting our fish on a regular schedule from our two production farms and expanding our global footprint.”
The company celebrated that it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to raise AquAdvantage Salmon at the Company’s Indiana farm. It also completed a second harvest of AquAdvantage Salmon at its Panama farm and sold five tonnes as fillets in Canada. In September, SalmonBusiness reported that in 2017 the company had sold 4.5 tonnes in Canada.
Having completed the first phase of upgrades to the Indiana farm, it was stocked with conventional Atlantic salmon eggs from AquaBounty’s hatchery in Canada. “The fish are growing well and are expected to be ready for harvest in the summer of 2020,” the company wrote.
FDA approval requires AquAdvantage Salmon to be grown in physically contained land-based systems, to reducing any potential impact on wild populations.
The GM salmon farmer wrote: “Regardless of regulatory approval, commercialization of AquAdvantage Salmon in the U.S. is presently blocked by an Import Alert requiring the issuance of labelling guidance by the FDA. The FDA recently confirmed in a statement to Congress that final labelling guidance for AquAdvantage Salmon is in process. While the Company understands, based on this statement, that guidance could be issued within the next few weeks, regulatory decisions are never certain. As a result of the FDA’s statements to Congress, the Company is taking steps to prepare for the import of AquAdvantage Salmon eggs.”
The Company expects to have AquAdvantage Salmon growing in its new Rollo Bay farm facility on Prince Edward Island this quarter with harvest projected to be in the summer of 2020.
AquaBounty is also establishing operations outside North America with projects currently in process in Brazil, Argentina, Israel, and China. “We believe that our experience with growing salmon in recirculating aquaculture systems, combined with our genetically superior fish, provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring our nutritious, safe, and more sustainably produced salmon to consumers,” the company added.