Kingfish Zeeland, a Dutch aquaculture company, is eyeing Maine for a new land-based fish farm.CEO Ohad Maiman told the trade publication SeafoodSource on May 8, 2019 that his company is looking at two potential locations on the coast of Maine to raise yellowtail, a popular sushi fish, in a land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). Maine is an excellent site for starting the company’s first US farm, Maiman said.The concept of building RAS farms in the United States to serve the northeast megalopolis between Boston and Washington is taking off, after Nordic Aquafarms and Whole Oceans announced plans to build Atlantic salmon farms in Maine. Kingfish Zeeland will make it the thrid.Despite high start-up costs, RAS farms could potentially slash transportation costs of supplying to the US market, by eliminating the necessity to pay air freight. RAS also offers the potential to manage the entry of pathogens into a farm, and allows companies to sell under a ‘produced locally’ label.Yellowtail kingfish is a highly regarded fish in Japanese sushi. The fish is also popular in Italy and South Africa. Maiman is promoting its use as a grilled and cooked fish, as well as in sushi and sashimi form.Maiman formed Kingfish Zeeland in 2012 serving customers in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK.Maiman said that Kingfish Zeeland looked at 22 sites on the Atlantic Coast before settling on Maine. He added that both of the prospective Maine locations have access to clean seawater.
Kingfish Zeeland currently operates an RAS facility in Kats, The Netherlands, producing 600 metric tons of yellowtail per year, with plans to expand that facility to 5,000 metric tons annually.