Land-based salmon company Atlantic Sapphire reached another milestone at its Miami Bluehouse site earlier this week, CEO Johan Andreassen, announced via Twitter.

For the first time, the fish at the facility reached the post-smolt phase and were moved from fresh to saline water in one of the largest recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) in the United States. Andreassen told IntraFish 500,000 fish were moved that weighed approximately 150 grams each at the time of transfer.

In the post-smolt facility, the fish will spend two to three months until they grow to around 500 grams, where they will be transferred to grow-out tanks, he said.

"Those fish will be harvested next year, and sold in the United States next summer around June," he said.

Something in the water

The rate of mortalities during the transfer was extremely low thanks to the system's use of purified water from the Biscayne Aquifer, according to Andreassen. The Miami system is even more stable than the company's land-based system in Denmark, which is more unpredictable and seasonal due to its use of seawater, he said.

"It has never seen fish before," he said of the "Miami Bluehouse" water. "It has no viruses, no bacteria, no algae, no microplastics. It's completely pure water."

With its US farm still under construction, revenue for the company is limited to its Denmark farm, which brought in $2 million (€1.8 million) over the first six months of the year, a substantial increase on the $4,000 (€3,614) it sold last year.

The company now has about 4 million fish in its systems, 1 million in Denmark and around 3 million in the United States, according to according to IntraFish's sister publication in Norway.

Andreassen said recently at a salmon farming conference in Oslo, Norway, the company expects to harvest 6,000 metric tons from both operations by 2020, and increase to 13,000 metric tons by 2021.