Unique geological conditions in the region just south of Miami mean that area could potentially supply all of the salmon demand for the entire United States, according to the person building the first salmon farm there.
Atlantic Sapphire’s Johan Andreassen told Salmon Business that the area likely has the largest groundwater levels in the world, caused by the region having been both above and below water over the past 10,000 years. The conditions allow the company to drill cheaply for pure water on their first 80 acre farm, currently under construction.
Both freshwater and saltwater can be easily pulled from multiple layers underground, with 50-foot wells for freshwater, a 2,000-foot well for saline water, and a 3,000-foot injection well. The ground itself is made of “hard shells” that stops water from migrating up or down.
How will the farm deal with warm water temperatures, which stay at a stable 25 degree celsius (77 Fahrenheit?) The company is installing reverse heat pumps. Tanks are also being built to withstand wind speeds three times hurricane strength.
The company claims that they will be able to produce 1,000 tons of salmon per acre. Total U.S. demand for Atlantic Salmon is 400,000 tonnes (the world’s largest salmon market), so the entire country could be fed with less than 500 acres of farmland.
Atlantic Sapphire will be importing salmon roe from Iceland to Miami to seed the farm, with the first eggs to be installed in less than a year and first harvest in less than three years. Total first phase cost is $110 million with 8,500 tonne production capacity. Third phase production capacity expected to be 90,000 tonnes.