Salmon land-based farm hires well-known aquaculture production expert
Whole Oceans, the company that is planning “one of the largest land-based aquaculture projects in the world” to farm Atlantic salmon in Maine, announced it has added an executive with 36 years of experience in land-based fish production and over 20 years in land-based system operation and design to its team.
Effective since July 1, Joe McElwee, who recently worked as head of sales for Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems in North Carolina, has worked as a chief production officer for the new fish facility.
“His knowledge of the technical design and operation of [recirculating aquaculture system] facilities is unparalleled,” Whole Oceans CEO Rob PIasio said in a news release. “He is a key member of our senior management and we will leverage his knowledge and wisdom toward our goal of capturing 10 percent of the US Atlantic salmon market.”
McElwee earned a master’s degree in business administration from Open University in Ireland, as well as a certification diploma in aquaculture from the Galway Institute of Technology. He’s worked for hatcheries and other aquaculture sites in Ireland, the United States and Canada.
“The aquaculture industry is expanding and developing rapidly, and now is the perfect time for land-based aquaculture in the USA,” McElwee said. “To have the opportunity to bring my knowledge of the technology, growing experience and business to Whole Oceans, one of the premier land-based developments in the United States, is very exciting.”
Whole Oceans expects to start work on the salmon farm at the former Verso paper mill site along the Penobscot River later this year, assuming it gets permits and approvals on schedule.
The farm would produce 5,000 tons of Atlantic salmon per year, and the company anticipates a total investment of about USD 250 million.
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