Land-based aquaculture company AquaBounty says it is planning to build a $200 million genetically engineered salmon farm in Pioneer, Ohio.

When finished, the 479,000-square-foot facility will be AquaBounty’s first large-scale farm, with an estimated annual production capacity of 10,000 metric tons, according to a company release. One of its current farms in Albany, Indiana, only has a capacity of 1,200 metric tons.

“We are excited to announce Pioneer, Ohio as the location of our next farm,” Sylvia Wulf, AquaBounty's CEO, said in the release. “After an intensive analysis of the site data and the completion of substantial due diligence, Pioneer met our selection requirements.”

The company has modified a single part of the salmon DNA that causes salmon to grow faster in early development. It raises the fish in what it calls “Recirculating Aquaculture Systems,” or inside facilities that include multiple levels of containment to protect wild fish populations and are designed to prevent disease. The FDA approved the sale of the product in 2019, and the company said in May it had received purchase orders for five tons of its salmon. 

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The farm is projected to bring 100 new jobs to the region.

“AquaBounty’s decision to choose Ohio for its first large-scale aquaculture facility is more evidence that Ohio is emerging from the pandemic stronger than before,” J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO, said in the release. “This investment will bring 112 new jobs to Northwest Ohio, further solidifying the region’s role as a national leader in agribusiness production and distribution.” 

Wulf said the company plans to begin construction by the end of the year.

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