With more than 50 companies in operation, fish farming is a fast-growing sector in the Netherlands. It is a high-tech industry as well. One company that is leading the way in terms of growth and innovations is The Kingfish Company, which incidentally is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The latest modernization that it is planning, is the installation of a new sophisticated lighting system from the Eindhoven-based company Signify.
With the ‘Philips Aquaculture photoperiodic LED lighting products’, The Kingfish Company expects to be able to significantly increase production by up to 30 percent. The explanation for this is quite simple. Fish need light to grow. They need it to see each other and to be able to tell the time and the seasons.
Optimal lighting recipe
Unlike many other fish producers, The Kingfish Company raises its fish in a closed system. This allows them to perfectly regulate the conditions. The company from the Dutch province of Zeeland claims to be antibiotic-free. Moreover, no chemicals are used and there is no danger of their farmed fish mixing with similar breeds of wild fish.
One disadvantage of the fish tanks is that they are all indoors. Artificial lighting is therefore needed to simulate sunrise and sunset, for one thing. According to Kees Kloet, operational director of The Kingfish Company, what Signify supplies is an “optimal lighting recipe.” This optimizes the fish’s view of food and each other. It also lowers their stress levels and boosts the efficiency of their food intake.
UV lighting also serves to keep the fish tanks free of pathogens and parasites. This is done in combination with mechanical filtration and ozone. Kloet: “In order for RAS technology to be successful, everything has to be just right. And lighting is one of the factors involved.”
RAS stands for “Recirculating Aquaculture System“, or in other words, a closed system with, in this case, saltwater.
The Kingfish Company was founded in 2015 and has had a large production site since 2017 at the foot of the Zeeland Bridge where the Yellowtail Kingfish (Seriola Ialandi) is farmed. This is a predatory fish from the horse mackerel family that is mainly caught in the wild near Japan and Australia.
The goal for this year is to increase production levels in Zeeland from 1250 metric tons to 2700 metric tons. In addition, an even larger production site is under construction in the American state of Maine, which is due to be operational in 2023.
The fish is primarily destined for use in restaurants. The Yellowtail is sold wholesale and according to The Kingfish Company, it is ideally suited for sushi dishes.
Read our other articles about Signify here.
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