AquaBounty, the company behind the development of the first genetically-engineered fish species licensed for sale in North America, is the winner of the Gold Leaf Award for Emerging Company — Agriculture bestowed by BIOTECanada, Canada’s national biotechnology industry association.
AquaBounty is currently constructing a $13 million facility in Rollo Bay West, P.E.I. to replace a smaller test facility in nearby Fortune. The company plans to produce 250 metric tonnes of “AquaAdvantage” salmon out of the eastern P.E.I. facility each year.
“Being recognized by our industry peers with this Gold Leaf Award for Emerging Company — Agriculture is very welcome and much appreciated,” says Ronald Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty. “As many of you know, AquaBounty is a small company with a long history. Our efforts in Canada have been greatly aided by the supportive business development environment, the support of national and provincial governments, and in particular the support of BIOTECanada and the P.E.I. BioAlliance.
“We hope to be able to give back by growing our business, increasing our workforce and contributing substantially to the economy of the region and the country. These are exciting times for our company, and we look forward to working with you all in the future. My sincere thanks and appreciation to BIOTECanada for this wonderful recognition.”
The AquaAdvantage fish program is based on a single, specific molecular modification in the fish that results in more rapid growth and early development. The aquaculture facility’s inland location means AquaBounty is raising its disease-free, antibiotic-free salmon away from the ocean, thus eliminating the risk of escapes impacting native fish populations and the risk of pollutants or contaminants harming marine ecosystems.
In November 2015, AquaBounty announced the U.S. FDA approved the company’s New Animal Drug application for the production, sale and consumption of its AquaAdvantage salmon. Health Canada has also approved the product for sale in Canada.