In 2009 at the age of 29, Brian O’Hanlon founded Open Blue. O’Hanlon long believed there was a need to develop new methods of fish farming. O’Hanlon thought he could eliminate environmental problems by farming in the open ocean.Using natural dilution to prevent disease and pollution, O’Hanlon believed he could revolutionize the fishing industry and create a long-term healthy food source – free of pesticides, mercury, hormones and any other contaminants.
O’Hanlon chose Panama because it was home to the operation’s key ingredient: Cobia. Cobia, also known as black salmon, is often described as a mix between swordfish and Chilean sea bass. More importantly, it can go from egg to 10 pounds in about a year, whereas it takes salmon roughly three years.
Each month the farm harvests and ships 250 tons of Cobia. Open Blue controls the entire life cycle of the cobia they farm, from egg to market. The company spawns the fish in captivity where the eggs spend 3 weeks in Blue Open’s hatchery. The larvae then move onto the nursery where they spend 60-90 days growing to roughly 150 grams. Once the appropriate size, they are vaccinated and transferred to their open ocean aqua-pens. The fish are then raised in a custom designed, vertically integrated platform 8 miles off the coast of Panama where the water depth measures between 210 and 230 ft.
The pen sits about 30 feet below the ocean surface, surrounded by buoys and identified on nautical map and GPS. Underwater cameras monitor the cobia’s progress and assist with the feeding process. A specialized blower disseminates the feed, which is designed and cultivated by Blue Open and includes fishmeal, fish oil, plant proteins, vitamins and minerals to best replicate Cobia’s natural diet. When it’s eventually time to harvest the cobia, Blue Open uses a custom ship to crowd the fish in their pens and pump them onto the deck where they are immediately knocked unconscious, cut, drained, and placed in sea water ice sludge to preserve their meat.
In 2020, The Company is ten years old and always stay true to its humble mision: provide a healthy and sustainable food source that can feed a growing population.
According to Digital Inititative