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   Kona Blue Expands Open Ocean Mariculture Into Sea Of Cortez
by Kelly Coleman, Kona Blue Water Farms
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2009 at 4:43PM EST

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kona Blue Water Farms announced today that it has secured funding and is proceeding with developing a second mariculture farm in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez to expand the company’s production of Kona Kampachi®, a premium tropical yellowtail.

The company is planning to deploy the first net pens later this year at the new site in the Bay of La Paz, five miles off the coast of the Baja California peninsula. The pens will be stocked with fingerlings before the end of December, 2009. A land-based hatchery is also planned for construction. This expansion to a site within easy trucking distance of the US mainland is a key element in the company’s plans to increase production volumes, reduce delivery costs for the fresh product, and reduce the overall carbon footprint of the company by minimizing the airfreight requirements.

Kona Blue’s mariculture operation in Hawaii is also currently undergoing a reconfiguration of offshore pens, which will replace the submersible Sea Stations™ with more robust surface pens. The new pens will take advantage of the latest Norwegian surface cage technology, and will also utilize ultra-sturdy, innovative Kikkonet material. This new net pen configuration will remain on the company’s current site, and is expected to result in considerable operational improvements and an increase in the farm’s sustainability quotient.

“We’re very pleased that our expansion plans are progressing,” said Neil Anthony Sims, President and CEO of Kona Blue. “These improvements in Kona and expansion into Baja California are significant steps in furthering our mission of ‘expanding the environmentally sound production of the ocean’s finest fish.’” Sims stated that the company will hold to the same rigorous standards of sustainability of feeds, operating procedures, and product quality at the new location in La Paz.

Because of the reconfiguration of the Hawaii site, there will be a short-term gap of market availability of Kona Kampachi® over the next six months, beginning the end of November, 2009. The popular sashimi-grade fish will be back on the market in May, 2010.

Source: Kona Blue Water Farms

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