OceanBoy Farms For Sale


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
February 18, 2008

OceanBoy Farms is selling its two Hendry County, Fla., shrimp farms either together or individually.

"Our stockholders have financed [OceanBoy] for seven years, and, as in the life of most companies, they are looking to move on at this point," says Michael Warner, chairman of OceanBoy and the majority investor. OceanBoy, he adds, "is an ideal opportunity for someone who has the capital to take it to the next level."

The Clewiston, Fla., company's 900-acre Little Cypress farm, which opened in 2003, features 24 4-acre lined ponds designed for shrimp production but suitable for various finfish, including tilapia and barramundi, and a hatchery that produces about 64 million post-larvae shrimp a month, with the capacity for more than 300 million post-larvae shrimp a month. Specific-pathogen-free Pacific whites (Penaeus vannamei)and Atlantic whites (P. setiferus) are produced at the hatchery.

Included in the sale are administrative offices, a packing plant and freezer, cholesterol research center, feed barn and all related equipment. The farm's water, which is about 5 parts per trillion saline, originates from four 300-meter artesian wells permitted by South Florida Water Management.

OceanBoy's LaBelle farm, which opened in 2001, consists of 15 2.5-acre lined ponds, a 7.4-acre water treatment pond, 15 juvenile nurseries/raceways and a 300-meter, 5-parts-per-trillion saline well. The company ceased operations at the farm, which was used for R&D, in late 2005 when it transferred most of its equipment to Little Cypress farm, but the ponds remain in place.

In mid-2004, shrimp from OceanBoy's Little Cypress farm and shrimp and tilapia from its LaBelle farm received organic certification by Quality Certification Services, a U.S. Department of Agriculture certification agency. However, the UDSA's National Organic Standards Board is still in the process of developing organic standards for farmed seafood, and OceanBoy officials are confident it will meet the standards once they're finalized.

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