Bill Bien, the CEO of Forever Oceans, a producer of sustainable seafood, signed a concession agreement with Jorge Seif Junior, secretary of aquaculture and fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply that puts Brazil on track to be an emerging producer of sustainable seafood production. The initial 20-year agreement authorizes Forever Oceans to ocean-raise fish within automated enclosures in two zones, located 4.3-9.3 miles off the Brazilian coast of the state of Bahia. Together, they represent the largest known offshore concession given for sustainable marine aquaculture, totaling 64,200 hectares (248 square miles), an area three-and-a half times the size of Washington DC. The operation is expected to create up to 500 jobs over the next eight years.
“With a coastline of more than 8,500 km (5281 miles), Brazil is one of the main frontiers for fish production, generating, in addition to healthy food, employment and income,” says Seif. “This landmark agreement is historic for Brazil and will set the country on the path to the development of sustainable marine aquaculture.”
“This agreement will help us to serve the growing demand for delicious, nutritious seafood and gives us the space to scale and grow rapidly, and the opportunity to develop the largest offshore sustainable seafood capability in the world,” says Bien. “We will bring our different approach to the waters of Brazil, applying our expertise in aquaculture, conservation and innovation to raise delicious and protein-rich fish in deep-ocean waters in a highly environmentally-friendly and sustainable way that’s good for people and the planet.”
In addition to the new site in Brazil, the Virginia, US-headquartered company has a research and technology facility in Hawaii, and offshore operations in Panama—and plans an offshore operation in Indonesia.
In Brazil, the company will ocean-raise Forever Oceans Amberjack, known locally as ‘Olho de Boi’ or Remeiro. This versatile finfish is praised for its taste, protein, nutrition and is rich in Omega-3.
An onshore hatchery in Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil, will raise fingerlings from eggs for placement in large deep-ocean enclosures, enabling them to swim and grow in a protected and more natural environment. Initially, 24 automated enclosures are planned inside the two ocean zones, which comprise responsible eco-friendly aquaculture zones. The operation in Brazil is expected to create approximately 300-500 jobs over the next eight years once full capacity is achieved.
In September 2021, Forever Oceans was named in Seafood Source Magazine’s Top 25 Seafood Innovators list. For more information, visit https://www.foreveroceans.com.