Innovasea has been instrumental in helping Petros secure government approval for a 3000 tonne open ocean fish farm off the southwest coast of Aruba.
Innovasea performed extensive consulting and site selection work for Petros, which plans to use Innovasea’s submersible SeaStations and other technologies to raise northern red snapper.
‘We’re thrilled to be partnering with Petros to create Aruba’s first ocean-based fish farm,’ said Langley Gace, Innovasea’s senior vice president of business development.
‘This is an important project for the country and the region and we’re confident that our open ocean expertise and our proven egg-to-harvest approach to fish farming will help ensure its success.’
Built over three phases, the farm will be located eight kilometres off the coast to produce its fish in a sustainable, secure and traceable manner. Once complete, it will feature 16 SeaStations and a land-based hatchery and will generate close to 100 local jobs. Future growth will target a 9000 tonne biomass with goals to diversify species and expand into seaweed cultivation.
‘We are fortunate to have a strong partner in Innovasea, an industry leader in open ocean farming with proven experience with warm water species such as Red Snapper,’ said Gunnar Bracelly, Petros’ founder and president.
‘Being able to rely on Innovasea’s full-service capabilities enables our team to focus on implementing the bold vision of diversifying the Aruban economy and becoming the catalyst for an aquaculture revolution throughout the Caribbean region.’
Northern red snapper is a high value species with strong demand in the United States – but a limited and seasonal supply that comes entirely from commercial fisheries.
Creating a vibrant aquaculture industry will help Aruba diversify its economy, which relies heavily on tourism, and strengthen its food security profile. The submersible SeaStation is ideal because it is invisible to tourists when submerged.
‘SeaStations spend most of their time fully submerged, so they’re a great fit for a place like Aruba where it’s important to preserve beautiful views for vacationers,’ Langley Gace said.
Petros will also market its fish to the many cruise ships that make calls in Aruba. This will support the cruise industry’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint by sourcing fresh seafood from local sources.
The company is looking for additional investors for the project and is open to both equity and debt financing for the initial stage.