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June 7, 2013
Texas—Global Blue Technologies/Cameron
On April 20, 2012, Global Blue Technologies/Cameron reported: “GBT is in the business of producing, processing, marketing, and selling high quality, pathogen-free, organic, colossal and extra colossal Penaeus vannamei shrimp. The business is predicated on a state-of-the-art proprietary, bio-secure production system enabled by approximately $80 million of research and development and more than a decade of research by world-class shrimp experts. Its key attribute is its proprietary, proven protocols, resulting in a highly sustainable enterprise that virtually eliminates all the catastrophic events experienced in the traditional open-air pond technology. Thus, we at GBT say our system is the model for 'Sustainable Aquaculture for the 21st Century'.”
GBT’s website has a 30-second video showing the interior of its greenhouses with aerators running and a slick 27-page brochure with lots of pictures. The information that follows is from the website and the brochure.
History: GBT’s proprietary protocol, involving its own broodstock, bio-secure facilities and technical intellectual property, is based on over ten years of research and development in the United States and South Africa. In 2006, GBT initiated a fully functional proof-of-concept pilot shrimp farm at the Coega Industrial Development Zone in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The pilot phase was hugely successful in meeting or exceeding all expectations. Unfortunately, a rapidly deteriorating infrastructure in South Africa—electrical power in particular—and a very unsettled political environment precluded expanding the project. In September 2009, the Coega site was officially shut down. GBT retained all information, documentation, designs, broodstock and key management personnel from the successful pilot project, including a proprietary, high-health, specific pathogen-free growth line of Penaeus vannamei.
GBT’s Shrimp Farm in Cameron Texas
Water Intake: Water intake is an important step in growing shrimp inside greenhouses. At GBT, a pump house is used to treat incoming raw seawater using a high-tech filtration system that includes sand and bag filters as well as UV sterilization. Water discharged from culture units is drained into a sedimentation tank and then filtered and circulated back into the system.
Algae Culture: Algae, which provides nutrition and lowers feed conversion rates, plays a significant role in the feeding strategy at GBT. A precise mix of algae species is essential to high growth rates. A precise mix of algae is cultivated for introduction into the growout tanks and raceways.
Hatchery: Global Blue Technologies, Inc., owns its Penaeus vannamei broodstock, which is currently being kept and managed by an existing hatchery facility in the USA. GBT is establishing its own hatchery and R&D center in Cameron County, Texas.
Acclimation, Nursery and Growout: An acclimation process is used to prepare the postlarvae for cultivation in the nursery, where they are grown to six grams and then stocked in the growout raceways.
Stephen LaPointe is Chief Executive Officer of GBT. He is a certified accountant and an alumnus of George Washington University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in accounting in June 1982. He began his accounting career in 1981, and in 1999, he formed his own certified public accounting and management consulting business. He has been involved with small to medium-sized businesses throughout his accounting career. Additionally, he is an expert in loan analysis and review, and has assisted in obtaining multi-million dollar financing for a multitude of projects. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants and a past member of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts and other state accounting societies. He is also a founding director and currently the president and CEO of the United States/Colombia International Chamber of Commerce and the United States/Colombia Cultural and Educational Foundation, entities dedicated to increasing trade and improving the educational options for Colombian students through a student intern program.
Dick Monroe retired as vice president of the environmental relations department at Darden Restaurants, Inc., in 2002, where he established the Darden Environmental Trust and had the responsibility of designing, implementing and supervising corporate initiatives designed to achieve environmental leadership. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources (IFCNR) and has traveled to nearly 50 countries where he has conducted on-site assessments and influenced the practices of vendors and countries regarding utilization of their natural resources. In 1967, he graduated from the University of Florida with a BS degree in advertising and, in 1968, he received an MA in journalism and communications from the University of Florida.
Jim Salmon is a graduate of Stetson University with a BA degree in marketing and management and later a MBA in finance. In 1978, he joined General Mills Restaurants, Inc., (now Darden Restaurants), where he helped develop regional promotions and campaigns designed to generate customer acceptance of new seafood products. He was also responsible for finding and developing new products and supply sources that involved traveling to over 40 different countries yearly. As a senior vice president at General Mills, he supervised the total purchasing needs of Red Lobster, The Olive Garden, China Coast and Bahama Breeze restaurants. His total dollar responsibility was over $1 billion a year ($450 million in seafood and $600 million in commodities, dry goods and equipment). Other responsibilities included the supervision and management of a resupply warehouse with an annual volume of over $28 million and a $13 million distribution program that serviced over 1,100 restaurants from four warehouses. This included the management of inventories that averaged over $60 million every day.
Jim is a past president and chairman of the National Fisheries Institute, past director of the Ocean Trust, an environmental organization for the protection of the wetlands and estuary habitats of fish and aquatic animals, past director of the National Frozen Food Association, and a past member of the advisory board of the University of Florida Aquatics Laboratory.
David Wills is a leading global expert on the sustainable and ethical use of the world’s natural resources. He was one of the driving forces behind the world’s first field-proven, closed-system, biosecure shrimp aquaculture project in South Africa. He has extensive theoretical and practical experience in capture fisheries and global aquaculture. As a consultant, he focused on sustainable fisheries and the development of aquaculture facilities. With a degree from the University of Michigan and having completed extensive graduate studies at Wayne State, he continues to enjoy a reputation as a global authority on all aspects of aquaculture.
John Harvin holds a BS and MS in Mariculture from Texas A&M University. John brings to GBT nearly twenty years of experience at commercial and research-based shrimp farming facilities. Harvin’s experience ranges from managing one of the largest commercial shrimp farming operations in the northern hemisphere [GMSB in Honduras] to leading in the development of super-intensive, recirculating production systems in the USA. His leadership in zero discharge, biosecurity, microalgae production, water quality monitoring and feed management is of particular importance to the strategic direction of GBT. He will be in charge of executing GBT’s vision.
Tony Schuur is a professional aquaculturist, scientist and engineer with over 35 years of experience in aquaculture as an operations manager and consultant. He has direct experience in commercial finfish, shrimp and bivalve production facilities, encompassing both intensive and extensive production methods. His consulting experience includes seven years as a supervising environmental scientist with James M. Montgomery Consulting Engineers and 28 years as an independent consultant specializing in services to commercial aquaculture clients. Tony was instrumental in designing the innovative closed recirculating system used by GBT, and his effluent treatment, processing and reuse system has been key to GBT’s emphasis on sustainable, biosecure production. He has completed several comprehensive-planning studies that include conceptual development, facility engineering, capital cost assessment and analysis of projected financial performance for entities like the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank. He’s a co-author of Bioeconomics of Aquaculture a monograph describing the relationships between the biological engineering and economic aspects of aquaculture production. Tony is a graduate of the University of California/Davis and serves on the editorial board of the journal Aquaculture Engineering.
Sources: 1. The Website of Global Blue Technologies. Website Visit on June 6, 2013.
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