Something Old, Something Blue - A Veteran Aqua Farmer Leads the Way
Blue Stream Aquaculture, with its hatchery and grow-out operations located in Barnstable, MA, is as picturesque as you can possibly imagine. It is the oldest working aquaculture farm in Massachusetts. Since the mid 1800’s, this farm has been operated using a combination of naturally occurring and man made raceways and ponds to grow trout from egg through commercial size. But Blue Stream very much represents the future of aquaculture, as much as it embodies the spirit of the past it has inherited. The farm is almost completely run on solar power, uses state of the art anaerobic digestion systems and has been an early adopter of novel feed solutions to create the most sustainable, nutritious and great tasting product possible. Just amazing. At the lead of these innovations is industry veteran Keith Wilda.
If you don't know Keith, I hope you will soon. He has worked in all aspects of aquaculture including spawning, live feed management, nutrition, water quality, and processing operations. Keith is a Managing Member of Blue Stream Aquaculture, LLC with farms located on Cape Cod, Western Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. He assists in systems design, process flow, and oversees daily operations. Previously, as General Manager of two of the largest aquaculture and aquaponics facilities in the country, including Australis Aquaculture, he has seen first hand what happens when process upsets like water quality issues, shifting feed formulations or even a parasite entering a facility can do to operations that already have thin margins.
I was introduced to Keith a little over a year ago and the privilege has been all mine. The first impressions when you meet him are that he is a good guy, humble, and incredibly passionate about fish farming. As I have gotten to know him a little better, its likely those impressions are likely a reflection of his many decades of experience reinforcing his inherent traits.
On a blue sky autumn day this fall, the KnipBio team spent a full day at Blue Steam’s West Barnstable location with Keith and his team, hosting some of Boston's most influential 'food people'. This event, which we dubbed ‘Feed-to-Fork’, was a way for us to demonstrate the positive effect KnipBio meal can have in RAS-raised rainbow trout, as well as a spotlight how special Blue Stream’s operations are. Being able to show the entire lifecycle of their trout - from the hatch hut where they spend the first month or so of their life, to grow out tanks and raceways, really captures the essence of what everybody in attendance stands for: best practice production, local, sustainable and ultimately the best product possible.
Blue Stream Aquaculture is a great example of what aquaculture can be when done well. We are excited to continue our work with them at this farm and their other land based RAS farms throughout New England. You can find this amazing fish locally in the Boston area at several top-tier restaurants already. If you want to know where, reach out to Blue Stream through their website or get in touch - maybe we can grab a bite to eat together!
Industry veteran Keith Wilda with the executive team from the JP Fuji Group (some of the best sushi on the planet!) talks about the various products his farm produces.
Recently installed solar panels provide shade to brown and brook trout in a pond that was hand dug in the 1800s.