Joe McElwee is leaving US land-based seabass farmer Ideal Fish to take up the position of farm director with Hima Seafoods, a 10,000-metric-ton recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) trout facility in Norway.

McElwee has been operations manager at Ideal Fish for just over a year and now leaves the company in the hands of Facility Manager Matt Leegwater and Health & Performance Manager Jess McGuire.

McElwee has a 40-year history in the aquaculture industry. Before Ideal Fish, he spent more than seven years at Pentair, before which he was chief production officer at Maine-based Whole Oceans. He also spent time at Atlantic Sea Smolts and at IFA Aquaculture in Ireland.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure at Ideal Fish, and have had the pleasure of not only working in a dynamic pioneering RAS facility, but also with a unbelievably talented team, growing and working with branzino [European seabass] and getting the farm to a place of excellence," McElwee said in an email about his move.

Construction of Hima's farm is set to begin in May 2021 and once fish are in the water, it will be an estimated 17 months from fry to an average weight of four kilos before harvesting.

The company, led by CEO Sten Falkum, has entered into a collaboration with Osland Havbruk for roe deliveries and has a partnership with Villa Seafood who will be responsible for the sale, distribution, processing and branding of the finished product.