|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The 500,000 square metre farm is to be developed in two phases at a cost of a tad over $27 million and will produce 4,000 tonnes of fish a year in its final phase.
They're looking at a UAE market of around 1,000 tonnes of salmon a year, currently airfreighted here from Norway and Ireland at a cost of something like $4-5 per kilo. Other gulf countries will take up the rest of the crop.
The company behind the scheme, Abu Dhabi fish farming and production company 'Asmak', isn't kidding. It already has major farming operations in the Gulf, with farms in Saudi Arabia and the UAE currently producing over 2,000 tonnes of fish a year - and a processing, distribution and 'value-added products' business.
There are major concerns about the health risks associated with consuming farmed salmon, particularly given the diet farmed fish are fed and the way it introduces toxins into the fish which we, in turn, consume. The furore really kicked off ten years ago with a scary study by Albany University which recommended eating very little farmed salmon indeed to avoid increased risk of cancer. There has been huge debate recently in Norway following advice issued to pregnant mothers to avoid eating farmed salmon - which brings the Norwegians in line with UK health advice, incidentally.
I give you this link to the story in the Shetland News. I love the Shetland News strapline "Great is the truth and it shall prevail".
Some of the media round here could do with a touch of that...
Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what Asmak intends to feed its fishies. Shame none of the local media covering the story asked... but then they just hacked the Reuters piece into make-up.