Two farms join forces to produce yellow perch
By Quentin DoddFeatures Finfish Fish Bell Farms Will Allen Farms (WAF) Yellow Perch
Bell Aquaculture and Will Allen Farms (WAF) – the force behind Growing Power urban-aquaculture redevelopment program – have partnered to provide the highly-popular yellow perch to restaurants and the fish-market trade in the US Midwest.
The new partnership will be developed in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences and is designed to bring a synergistic vision to increase production of high-quality, healthy and health-giving fish to expanding numbers of people, using sustainable and ecologically sound methods.
As part of this program, WAF has established a yellow perch fingerlings farm under the Bell Farms trademark in Albany, Indiana. It says the unit will be “critical to maintaining supply of this high demand fish to the Midwest.”
“Bell Farms™ currently produces steelhead and coho salmon without the use of hormones or antibiotics in a vertically integrated, land-based, closed-containment RAS recirculating aquaculture system) facility dedicated to providing a protein solution to the coming food deficit” says a joint statement from the two companies.
Bell also recently completed the cycle of vertical integration, with the opening of an on-site aqua feed mill.
WAF, which is named after and led by Will Allen, farmer and founder and Chief Executive Officer of Growing Power Inc urban-farming program, says the company is “on a mission to revolutionize the food supply in the USA.”
A part of that, which Allen has emphasized from the beginning, has been to provide “all people” – and especially the poor and disadvantaged – with ready access to quality, healthy and affordable food.
Typically, says Allen, production is aquaponic, providing protein and vegetables in so-called “urban deserts,” in an environmentally sustainable manner and setting. Implementation of that vision is already in progress with the construction of the Milwaukee Green Acre Project, which WAF calls the company pilot project, located in central Milwaukee.
“Will Allen Farms is rejuvenating a vacant former industrial-use facility by creating a one million-capacity bio-secure yellow-perch fingerling hatchery and aquaponics farm,” says the company.
— Quentin Dodd
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