Blue Shore begins processing Kentucky’ s invasive fish
FARMINGTON, Ky. – Blue Shore Fishery recently marked the opening of a processing facility that is turning the invasive Asian carp in the region’s waterways into a wholesale foods business. The project is expected to create 66 jobs.
Blue Shore is investing more than $1.3 million into a former catfish-processing facility on 53 acres off State Route 97 in Farmington. The company processes Asian carp caught by local commercial fishermen from rivers and lakes throughout western Kentucky. Blue Shore plans to add 5,000 square feet to the facility, which currently encompasses 11,000 square feet.
The company also owns two other facilities in Kentucky: RCB Fish Company in Ledbetter and Fin Gourmet in Paducah, a research and development operation.
“It is great to celebrate an entrepreneurial success story like that of Blue Shore Fishery,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “An industry growing out of a fish species that is a problem in our waterways is bringing jobs to the community. This is exactly why our Kentucky Innovation Network reaches out to small businesses.” Blue Shore’s owners received technical assistance from the Kentucky Innovation Network Office in Murray for marketing and web development, exporting and finding access to capital.
Blue Shore’s products, including surimi, a fish paste that can be used to make crab sticks, fishcakes and other foods. The company plans to sell to wholesale markets in the U.S. and overseas, particularly in Asia.
“We are excited for this former catfish processing plant to once again begin receiving fish – this time, wonderful ‘American Carp’ – and to begin production and exporting of our innovative products,” said co-owner John Crilly, who owns the company along with Lan Chi Luu.
An invasive species, Asian carp compete with native fish and are overpopulating.
“While we are excited about the jobs that Blue Shore Fishery will bring to our county, we are equally excited about their commitment to the community, to innovation and to reviving the inland fishing industry,” Ryan Drane, Graves County Economic Development said.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved the company for tax incentives up to $1,000,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.