Elkhart, IN (PRWEB) March 27, 2008
Bell Aquaculture has begun operation of the nation's largest yellow perch (Perca flavescens) farm at production facilities located in Albany, Indiana, northeast of Indianapolis. Recently Bell President & COO Michael Miller was interviewed by NewsRadio 1340's Gary Sieber, giving Indianans more information about one of the State's newest businesses and insight into its expanding aquaculture industry.
"The greatest difficulty for restaurants has been the availability of yellow perch out of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie - the two predominant lakes for the supply of wild-caught yellow perch," explains Bell Aquaculture President & COO Michael Miller during an interview on WTRC NewsRadio 1340, earlier this month when his company launched and unveiled the nation's largest yellow perch farm in Albany, about ten miles outside of Muncie. "Which means the restaurants that were typically serving customers who enjoy the taste of yellow perch, just cannot get the supply."
Further, during the interview with NewsRadio 1340's Gary Sieber, Miller said, "The yellow perch that we're raising, the Bell Perch™, is a higher quality product from the standpoint that there is no real possibility of contaminants entering into their food chain during their growth. We have absolute control over our water supply, since they are raised in-house there is no opportunity for bird predation, pesticides or herbicides to get into the flesh of the fish that you and I might sit down to eat."
Click here to read the full text of Miller's March 12, 2008, WTRC interview (url: http://publicrelationsnewsroom.com/db1/00055/publicrelationsnewsroom.com/_download/Radio_Interview_Verbatim25March2008.pdf).
Bell Aquaculture's Albany facility currently has the production capacity of less than 100,000 pounds of fish per year and ultimately will exceed 9 million pounds per year. According to Miller, the company will employ 70 in Albany at full build-out of the new facilities. Bell Aquaculture's Bell Perch™ product is expected to be available for restaurant purchase spring 2009 and consumer purchase in the future.
Yellow perch is one of the most popular of all North American pan fish. It has a mild, sweet flavor with firm white flesh and low fat levels, making it a favorite in residential and commercial kitchens alike. In years past, yellow perch was the fish typically served at Friday night fish fries in the Great Lakes region.
Not to be confused with white perch or rock perch, yellow perch is usually only available a few months out of the year. Overfishing, loss of habitat, pollution, and competition from invasive non-native species have reduced the commercial catch to less than 20 percent of its historic highs--an 80 percent reduction.
The vision for a yellow perch farm was born when Miller became personally interested in aquaculture in 1994. After studying this science and becoming involved in the Indiana Aquaculture Association, Inc. (IAAI), he developed a dream to bring the local and personal favorite, yellow perch, back to the area. Miller has been involved with the IAAI for 12 years, including holding the position of secretary/treasurer until recently. He is on the Board of Directors. He currently serves on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's regional aquaculture extension team under NCRAC.
As Miller says, "What started out as an idea on a Post-it note, ended up being 17 file cabinets of information." So after more than 12 years of research, consulting fish experts and a lot of hard work, Bell Aquaculture was formed.
Bell Aquaculture is committed to these four guiding principles in producing its fish:
1) Controlled environment
2) No toxins
3) Healthy growth
4) Gentle to the environment
About Bell Aquaculture
Bell Aquaculture is a producer and processor of farm-raised fish for restaurants and consumer use. Initial production facilities, dedicated to yellow perch, are located in Albany, IN, and comprise the nation's largest yellow perch farm. More information about Bell Aquaculture is available at http://www.bellaquaculture.com
About WTRC Radio
WTRC Radio began as a small station known as WJAK in 1931. It was soon bought by THE ELKHART TRUTH, from where it got its call letters (WTRC - Truth Radio Corporation). Throughout its history, WTRC has been the area's "station of record" for news, with award-winning spot news reporting and long-form news programming. In 1995, WTRC switched to ABC News Radio, with the best world and national coverage and the inimitable Paul Harvey News. For more information about News Radio 1340, The Information Station, go to http://www.am1340.com.
Jodi Bertram, Realistic Marketing, 913-484-7361
Maggie Holben, Absolutely PR, 303-984-9801
Paul Weaver, WTRC Radio Producer, 574-389-5111