Blue Ridge Aquaculture was founded in 1993, and has been in continuous operation for nearly thirty years. Headquarters and operations are located in Martinsville, Virginia. The company operates out of a 100,000 ft2 facility, and employs approximately thirty-five people.
The Company sells live fish to distributors in major metropolitan markets in the North East, such as New York, Boston, Toronto and Washington, D.C. These consumers are primarily Asian and Hispanic-American individuals with a cultural preference for live seafood. Management believes that BRA currently controls approximately 20% of the domestic market for live tilapia.
By 2002, Blue Ridge Aquaculture was operating as a fully integrated system, including broodstock, hatchery, nursery, growout and distribution of live tilapia. At that point it was producing approximately two million pounds of tilapia per year. Over the next 5 years (2002 – 2007), Blue Ridge Aquaculture focused on improving its bottom-line, concentrating on quality, supply reliability and positioning of the Blue Ridge Aquaculture tilapia in the marketplace.
By 2007 Blue Ridge Aquaculture was able to double production, with a similar increase in revenue. In 2017, the company continued its expansion with the addition of an on-site aquafeed mill, Blue Ridge Aquafeeds. A new hatchery and nursery facility was added in 2020. Blue Ridge Aquaculture anticipates future expansion projects, furthering the vertical integration of the company.
BRA’s indoor Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) grows seafood in a clean environment that allows control to a degree not available in open-system aquaculture (ponds, net-pens, flow-through). Recirculating systems maximize water re-use through the removal of solids, bio-filtration, gas balancing, oxygenation and disinfection. This technology eliminates the need for a large water source as well as the environmental impact associated with disposing of wastewater. BRA leads the industry in all aquaculture performance measures, including high growth rates, high production densities, low Feed Conversion Ratio’s, and very low mortalities. The company understands the negative effects of stress on the animals and maintains ideal living conditions for optimal and efficient growth.
According to blueridgeaquaculture.com. Source of photos: internet