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May 4, 2013

United States

Florida Organic Aquaculture



United States

Florida Organic Aquaculture


November 12, 2012...Florida Organic Aquaculture (FOA) will be based in a new commerce park established by the city of Fellsmere, Florida, if the methods the firm is testing at Florida Tech’s Vero Beach Marine Lab prove effective.  FOA plans to grow organic Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei)—without antibiotics or chemicals—in a series of large tanks within greenhouses, filtering the water with oysters and then recirculating it back into the shrimp tanks.  The company will also release effluent into a wetland to grow salicornia, a high-protein sea asparagus that can be used for human and cattle consumption.


March 30, 2013...After more than four years of preparation, Clifford Morris, CEO of Florida Organic Aquaculture, said the company plans to start construction in Fellsmere in early April 2013.


The company plans to harvest and sell fresh sushi-grade colossal shrimp and hire between 60-70 people, Morris said.


The total project will cost $13 million, and the company is in the process of raising $3 million for working capital.  Morris said the company plans to hire mostly (60%) unskilled workers at entry-level salaries of $13.75 per hour.  Senior scientists will be paid $90,000 a year.


Morris said he is hoping to work with Indian River State College and the Florida Aquaculture Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit organization, to increase the skill level of the unskilled worker force.  The Foundation will be housed at the Fellsmere location and will work with universities on internship programs, do research and help local residents learn ways to grow their own food.


“The Foundation’s going to be leveraging off our infrastructure and creating opportunities,” Morris said.  Teri Pinney has been named the Foundation’s executive director.  “It’s a nonprofit organization whose primary goal and mission is to support the development of study in aquaculture, hydroponics and agriculture in general through the creation of training programs and of education programs,” Pinney said. “We support the research of studies in particular of shrimp cultivation.”


At completion, the 120-acre site will have three pole barns, each over 1,000 feet long.  Plans are to complete the first pole barn by the end of June 2013, Morris said.  The second will be built in late 2013 or early 2014, and the third will be completed once the company is profitable.


The company had a successful test harvest of 1,800 pounds of shrimp at Florida Institute of Technology.  Morris said the farm plans to harvest its first crop in November 2013.  



From Florida Organic Aquaculture’s Webpage:


“Our professional and experienced management has recruited a group of world leading aquaculture scientists to our advisory board and established affiliations with three top academic institutions in this field.”


“FOA will use its own specialized closed-loop, zero-exchange circulating water aquaculture system.  This system retains, continuously monitors and treats the water within the system, virtually eliminating bio-waste or excess food discharge.  It also protects the system from intakes of polluted water, prevents fish escapes and thus eliminates all need for antibiotics or chemicals used to combat disease.”


“FOA integrates oyster and Samphire (Salicornia europaea) production into its shrimp production to increase yields, diversify the product line and create a more self-sustaining, low waste process than monoculture allows.”



How Florida Organic Aquaculture Raises Money


The company utilizes a foreign investment program called “Mirzam Investor Green Card (MIGC)” to raise cash.  The following notes appeared on its webpage.


“The MIGC Regional Center was created to help foreign investors find a reputable project for their EB-5 investment.  Started by Clifford Morris and his team, the MIGC Regional Center gained approval from the USCIS in July 2010.  Trying to provide EB-5 investors with a unique opportunity, Mr. Morris quickly identified aquaculture as a desirable and potentially highly profitable industry for his regional center project, thus Florida Organic Aquaculture was born.”


“It needs to be emphasized that the Investor Visa is not a purchase of a Green Card.  It is an investment that, like all investments, has the potential for profit and loss.  Whilst the investment has to meet certain criteria set by the USCIS, the investment is in no way guaranteed by the US government.  This is not a solicitation for securities; this is intended to be used for informational purposes.”


Information: Clifford Morris, CEO, Florida Organic Aquaculture, 930 West Indiantown Road, Suite 204, Jupiter, Florida 33458, USA (phone 1-561-741-3000, fax 1-561-741-8000, webpage


Source: 1. Undercurrent News.  Editor, Tom Seaman (  Hopes for New Florida Shrimp Farm.  November 12, 2012.  2. TC Palm.  Aquaculture Company Set to Break Ground in Fellsmere Next Week.  Eric Pfahler (phone 1-772-409-1341).  March 30, 2013.  3. (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  Florida Organic Aquaculture Breaks Ground for New Shrimp Farm Today.  April 29, 2013.  4. TC Palm.  Florida Organic Aquaculture Groundbreaking Under Way in Fellsmere/Photos/Video.  Eric Pfahler (phone 1-772-409-1341).  Picture Credit, Sam Wolfe.  April 29, 2013.  5.  Florida Organic Aquaculture’s Webpage.  May 3, 2013.  6. Wikipedia.  EB-5 Visa.  May 3, 2013.  7. Immigration Direct Website’s.  USCIS.  May 3, 2013.  8. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, May 3, 2013.



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