Australis Finalizes Vietnam Lease, Gets Oprah Nod

Australis Aquaculture has received an investment license from the Van Phong Economic Zone in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, approving a 25-year lease of more than 494 acres in central Vietnam, the Turners Falls, Mass., company announced today.

The license allows Australis to establish a wholly owned operating subsidiary in Vietnam, Australis Aquaculture Limited Vietnam, which now begins development of a barramundi hatchery and offshore grow-out facilities. The Vietnam operation is projected to produce 10,000 tons of barramundi annually within five to seven years, according to Josh Goldman, Australis' managing director.

The company launched a line of fresh and frozen barramundi products into major retail and club markets earlier this year, including Costco, Whole Foods, Kroger, Harris Teeter and ShopRite.

The licensing agreement suspends a joint venture with a Vietnamese company that Australis announced in January.

In other company news, chef Barton Seaver, chef/owner of Hook restaurant in Washington, D.C., selected Australis barramundi for one of his recipes in a sustainable seafood profile in the June issue of O, the Oprah Magazine.


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