Kingfish Maine ops chief launches red drum RAS project
October 2, 2023 By Nestor Arellano
Megan Sorby, who has served as operations manager The Kingfish Company’s U.S. arm for the last four years, also has her eye on a new species. Sorby is launching a new recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) project to raise red drum.
The game fish is also known as redfish, channel bass, puppy drum, spottail bass or red. It is a favourite throughout the Gulf Coast and Atlantic states. The fish has been federally protected from commercial harvest since the 1980s in the United States.
“Being a part of The Kingfish Company has been a fantastic opportunity, and with the successes we have had, the company has a clear path to continue with expansion in the U.S.,” said Sorby. “While I continue to support the Kingfish team in the U.S., I am excited to spearhead a new development, growing a native species with a long history of being a legendary seafood product.”
No formal announcement has been made whether Sorby is set to leave her post as operations manager of Kingfish Maine, which is a position she also shares with her husband, Tom. A company spokesperson says that Sorby will “remain as an advisor” as Kingfish continues through its appeals process.
Sorby and her team helped secure the required permits for The Kingfish Company expand in the US, build out a hatchery facility and increase US broodstock. Kingfish Maine celebrated its first harvest of Dutch yellowtail from Maine in early 2023.
There’s limited harvest of red drum in a few states. The fish is also valuable in sport fishery. The current market presence of red drum has been largely from imported farmed product, due to recent deep freezes in the southern U.S.
“There’s deep U.S. investment in the research and development of this species. Pairing red drum with RAS technology optimizes this species to its fullest potential in a domestic location,” said Sorby.
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