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SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [seafoodnews.com] Nov 5, 2012
The next-generation aquaculture technology of The Velella Mariculture Project has been named to Time magazine’s ’50 Best Inventions of 2012′ list. Citing the growing global demand for Omega 3-rich marine fish and flat wild fish catches, Time noted the potential for an aquaculture method that has no discernible
environmental impact.

The research project raised kampachi (a tropical yellowtail) in a single unanchored, submersible net pen tethered to a manned sailing vessel, drifting three to 75 miles offshore of the Big Island of Hawaii. The kampachi were fed a sustainable commercial diet that replaced a significant amount of fishmeal and fish oil with soy and other alternative agricultural proteins. No antibiotics,  hormones or pesticides were used throughout the seven-month trial, which was completed with a successful harvest in February, 2012.

The project far surpassed expectations, says Neil Anthony Sims, co-CEO of Kampachi Farms, who conducted the research. ‘The fish thrived in the research net pen far from shore, with phenomenal growth rates and superb fish health, and without any negative impact on water quality, the ocean floor, wild fish
or marine mammals,’ he says.

The Velella project received major funding by the Illinois soybean checkoff program. ‘This honor further validates the commitment of the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) to fund visionary research that develops cutting-edge aquaculture technologies and soy-based feed to help grow a sustainable supply of healthy seafood,’ says Duane Dahlman, soybean farmer from Marengo, Ill., and ISA vice chair for aquaculture.

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