Pacifico Aquaculture, the Mexico-based striped bass farming company, is celebrating another milestone, having secured investment to finance a "state-of-the-art" RAS nursery facility at its site in Baja California.
This, the company said, will "provide a substantial runway" for Pacifico to scale its production capacity and "meet the robust market demand for sustainably raised striped bass", with the intention of producing 20,000 metric tons of fish per year.
Project financing is being provided by Equilibrium Capital, one of the largest controlled environment agriculture investors in the world, in addition to a significant equity investment from a consortium led by long-term Pacifico finance partner Butterfly Equity and a leading U.S. public pension fund. The RAS technology for the nursery development will be provided by Billund Aquaculture.
“We are thrilled to partner with Equilibrium and to receive continued support from Butterfly as Pacifico reaches an exciting inflection point in its growth,” said Pacifico CEO Per-Roar Gjerde.
“This investment will allow us to build a state-of-the-art nursery facility and unlock 20,000 metric tons of annual production capacity to meet the world’s growing demand for healthy, nutritious seafood," he added.
Founded in 2010, Pacifico is the world’s only commercial producer of ocean-raised striped bass. The species is a popular wild catch fish in the United States, but wild sources are limited due to overfishing, quota constraints, and seasonality. In common with salmon, striped bass (Morone saxatilis) spawns in fresh water, with its post-smolt and adulthood stages spent at sea.
By providing a year-round source of farmed striped bass, Pacifico considers itself "well-positioned for significant market expansion".
In recent years, the company has also achieved solid sustainability credentials, as the first marine fish first marine fish farm in Mexico to obtain a four-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification, the highest designation in the BAP program. Pacifico is also certified as a Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
Bringing extensive experience from the salmon farming industry, former Mowi executive Per-Roar Gjerde joined Pacifico Aquaculture as CEO in 2021.