Sri Lankan firm Oceanpick has revealed plans to expand its barramundi farming capacity to 1,000 metric tons in 2016.
The firm — which has just unveiled its new “Round Island” brand — invested $4.5 million in the first stage of its at-sea farming venture, in which it has farmed barramundi, or Asian sea bass.
“Oceanpick anticipates doubling the capacity in to 1,000t during this year, and widening its portfolio to several other species in the future,” it told Undercurrent News in a statement.
Another focus area will be the cold chain and distribution front, where fish harvest will occur primarily when ready for consumption, and peak freshness will be maintained until it reaches the consumer, it said.
Launched in 2012, in partnership with Kames Fish Farming of Scotland, Oceanpick stocked its sea cages with barramundi juveniles in 2014. Harvests of the first batch make it the first commercial scale oceanic farm for finfish in Sri Lanka, it claimed.
“Our objective with this venture is not merely to make supreme quality seafood available to consumers, but also to raise Sri Lanka’s fishery industry to new heights of sustainability by reducing reliance on dwindling natural marine resources,” said founder and director of Oceanpick, Irfan Thassim.
“We focus on responsible farming that is highly sustainable, to produce high quality seafood without compromising on taste.”
Oceanpick’s general manager of operations, Fazli Nayeem, added, “Sri Lanka has abundant potential to be a major player in global seafood production with the launch of this ocean fish farming — and Oceanpick’s cage system is Sri Lanka’s first such facility”.
“Sri Lanka’s attempts at aquaculture hitherto have been primarily concentrated in brackish water lagoons, fresh water bodies or inland based ponds. Our venture in ocean fish farming is a revolution in Sri Lanka’s fishery industry.”
Many leading hotel and restaurant brands that value sustainability and premium ingredients have already adopted Oceanpick’s product on their menus, and the company’s footprint continues to grow, the firm said.
The company also delivers product to Colombo, South and Central hills, and to a host of customers overseas.
– Undercurrent News