NORTHFIELD, Wis. — A new fish farm and greenhouse operation in western Wisconsin is trying to change the seafood industry with its indoor aqua-hydroponics system.

Fish farm-greenhouse enterprise Superior Fresh in Northfield opened its indoor Atlantic salmon farm Thursday, The Leader-Telegram reported . The 1-acre fish farm can produce up to 120,000 pounds of Atlantic salmon and 40,000 pounds of rainbow trout each year.

The nutrient-rich water that the fish create is transported to a nearby 123,000-square-foot greenhouse to help grow leafy greens. At full production, the farm is expected to grow about 2 million pounds of fresh greens annually.

“We’ve gone a whole ‘nother step further by capturing that waste from the fish and using that nutrient rich water to grow the plants,” said Brandon Gottsacker, chief operating officer of Superior Fresh. “What that does is allows us to use a whole lot less water.”

The operation holds about 1.4 million gallons of water. The aquaculture systems could use up to 60 gallons of water a minute if operating alone, Gottsacker said. But it uses about 4 gallons of freshwater per minute while connected to the greenhouse system.

“The goal is to prove that we can build a facility like this anywhere in the world,” Gottsacker said. “Whether it’s the city or desert where water is scarce, whether or not the regulation is difficult, this still feels good. We know how sustainable it is.”

Gottsacker said the enterprise needed a nearly $20 million investment. He expects to employ more than 100 people at the location once the operations involve processing the salmon and produce on-site.

“This is definitely the future of food production,” he said. “We’re never going to feed the whole world this way, but we’re giving people more access and more options to better food.”

Information from: Leader-Telegram,

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