Fish farmers frame future facility | nnbw.com

Fish farmers frame future facility

by Caryn Haller
challer@recordcourier.com

Nevada Sea Dream is coming to Carson Valley and bringing Chilean sea bass and Atlantic salmon with it.

The company, which operates under Israel-based Microdel, received a special use permit in December to build an indoor fishery in Gardnerville starting sometime after July.

"This is the future of aquaculture and where we get our food from," said spokeswoman Bonnie Lind. "It's preferred now by chefs and better tasting."

At a recent Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Lind gave an overview of Nevada Sea Dream.

The 270,000-square-foot plant will be located on Bently land, two miles east of Highway 88 at Dressler Lane.

"The land was chosen to minimize visual impact and traffic impact," Lind said.

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Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this year and be operational by the second quarter of 2016. The fishery will create 20-25 jobs and is projected to generate $32 million in annual revenue. The fish will be brought in from Norway and Iceland, reaching maturity in eight to 10 months, Lind said.

"This is a neat opportunity for us to give the natural population a chance to recover," Lind added. "We're not doing Frankenfish."

The advantages of an aquaculture facility include having a product that has not been genetically modified with antibiotics or hormones.

"These fish have been bred for taste and hardiness, so we don't have to use hormones," Lind said. "You should be able to eat this fish every day, and not have to worry about a toxic buildup in your body."

The fishery will also reuse its water at a high rate.

"Ninety-six percent of the water is recycled so we continue using it," Lind said. "The idea is to have a zero waste component."

The fish are transferred from tank to tank via a series of pipes, creating a pollution-free environment for the fish to live in.

"The fish are touched twice in their lifetime," Lind said, "once when they're put into the facility, and again when they're taken out to be processed."

The fishery model is certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

"We are the first company in the U.S. to receive a recommended qualification," Lind said. "We're really excited about that."

While waiting on a building permit, Microdel is completing financing for the farm, as well as receiving building quotes from local construction companies.

The company completed its first hatchery in Israel's Negev Desert in January. It is projected to supply 2,000 tons of fish annually to the local and international market, for revenues of $13 million. More info: visit http://www.microdel.co.il/fish.asp

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