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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Fresh fish farming enterprise will be quite a catch for Saltville  (อ่าน 2220 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: ตุลาคม 21, 2006, 11:32:18 AM »

http://www.roanoke.com/business/wb/wb/xp-87728
By Andrew Kantor
  981-3384

A new farming method is coming to Saltville, bringing with it 60 new jobs and more than $30 million in local investments. No tractors are involved, though -- Saltville will be the site of, ironically, a freshwater fish-farm facility.

The money and jobs are coming through a joint project of Martinsville-based Blue Ridge Aquaculture and MariCal of Portland, Maine. Called Virginia Cobia Farms, it will use a new method of indoor fish farming to raise cobia, a large fish.

The farm will use a system developed by MariCal that helps fish grow faster and meatier naturally.

Young fish are particularly susceptible to changes in the levels of salts in their water, according to Bill Thomas, senior vice president at MariCal. They take time to adjust to those changes -- time and energy that they aren't spending growing and getting meatier.

MariCal is able to speed up that acclimation with natural additives to the water and food.

MariCal's product is akin to a dietary supplement that reduces the adjustment period for the fish. Hence, they grow faster and reach maturity sooner. Faster maturity means more profit for the farmer.

What's more, said Thomas, it's all natural.

"There are no chemicals, there's no growth promotents, there are no genetic modifications of any kind," he said. "There's no stress on the animal. In fact, the fish that are subjected to this typically outperform traditional cultivation methods or even wild growth."

The company will receive a variety of benefits from the state, including $100,000 from the Governor's Opportunity Fund and another $100,000 from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. It is also eligible for benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program.
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