Kingfish Maine has announced it is harvesting its first Dutch Yellowtail in Maine, with a limited release of the first sustainable Dutch Yellowtail to be produced in the U.S.
As part of the Kingfish Company, Kingfish Maine is currently operating at the University of Maine's Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin while it prepares for construction of its recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Jonesport, Maine.
"We have worked three long years to arrive at this point – harvesting our first Dutch Yellowtail from Maine and completing all our permits for our land based Jonesport facility," said Kingfish Maine Operations Manager Megan Sorby.
"This would not be possible without the collaborative work with our team at Kingfish Zeeland and our crew here at CCAR. We are excited to bring the first Dutch yellowtail from Maine to the market."
Kingfish began its project in Maine in 2020, using RAS technology at CCAR to raise yellowtail fingerlings brought over from its sister company in the Netherlands.
The company says that this month's small batch, limited release of Dutch Yellowtail from Maine will be distributed and served at restaurants on both U.S. coasts. The yellowtail will make its way onto diners' plates at selected establishments in Maine, Boston, Washington D.C. and California over the next two months.
Another Maine company, Bristol Seafood, which recently announced its B Corp. certification, is processing the limited reserve batch at its Portland facility.
"As a certified B Corp, Bristol collaborates with other companies which meet our standards of sustainability and environmental impact," said Bristol Seafood President & CEO Peter Handy.
"We are proud that the Kingfish team is entrusting us with processing and packaging its first Maine harvest of sustainably-raised Dutch yellowtail. We look forward to supporting Kingfish Maine as the company fully develops its facility in Jonesport."
Kingfish Maine's first harvest has been eagerly anticipated by Kingfish colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic.
"Our first Maine harvest is a milestone for the Kingfish Company," said Kingfish Company CEO Vincent Erenst. "Our US facility will mirror the operational excellence proven in the Netherlands. Kingfish Maine will be the largest producer of Yellowtail Kingfish in the US, providing local and sustainable Yellowtail to expanding markets."
The project was recently given the green light for facility construction at Jonesport, having overcome planning challenges filed by opponents with local authorities earlier last year.
Once the Jonesport Maine facility is fully operational, Kingfish Maine is projected to produce 8,500 metric tons of yellowtail per year.
The Kingfish Company is a pioneer and leader in sustainable land-based aquaculture. Current annual production capacity at its Kingfish Zeeland facility in the Netherlands is 1,500 tons of high quality and high value Yellowtail Kingfish. Expansion is underway and capacity in the Netherlands will reach 3,500 tons in 2023. Kingfish Maine is now fully permitted by local, state and federal regulatory agencies.
Production is based on advanced recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), which protect biodiversity and ensure biosecurity. Animal welfare is paramount, and the fish is grown without use of antibiotics and vaccines. Operations run on 100% renewable energy, sourced from wind, solar and biogas. The company's facilities operate on sea water, avoiding fresh water wastage.