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April 24, 2012

Aquapod maker merges with Mexican fish farm

Morrill-based Ocean Farm Technologies, which makes the Aquapod system for ocean aquaculture, is merging with a Mexican aquaculture company. The two companies plan to build commercial-scale open ocean farms using Ocean Farm Technologies fish pen technology.

Founded in 2005, OFT develops net pen systems for aquaculture invented by Steve Page. The spherical cages are submerged and anchored offshore and can grow thousands of fish. The company will merge with Earth Ocean Farms of La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico, which owns and operates an aquaculture operation in the Sea of Cortez that grows shrimp and finfish, according to a press release. The company is also planning to establish a hatchery operation. The two companies will develop a commercial-scale farm using multiple net pens that will produce about 500 tons of fish and shrimp annually, with the ultimate goal of expanding the model to other sites around the world. The installation will also serve as a testing site for OFT to develop feeding, cleaning and harvesting technologies for open-ocean net pens, according to the release. The farm will also be used as a demonstration and training site for new customers.

In 2010, Mainebiz former New Media Editor Whit Richardson wrote a two-part feature on Ocean Farm Technologies' work in Mexico and Panama. Read part 1 and part 2.

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