12 Culture Basins
20 Ton Shrimp
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Tabuk Farm Project
Demonstrating the possibility to produce clean, natural seafood away from the sea
The NOVATON Tabuk Farm is the first land-based farm built by NOVATON in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The city of Tabuk is located north in the Saudi Kingdom’s Arabian Peninsula, 250km away from the sea in the Al Nufud desert. There is no lake or river nearby and the temperatures vary enormously, spanning from -4° to +42°.
NOVATON chose this challenging location for its Saudi pilot farm to prove that it is possible to economically and sustainably produce natural saltwater shrimp anywhere, even in arid lands far away from the sea.
The 20 Ton capacity farm was built in 2019 by a local contractor.
The cultivation basins were filled once with sea water brought from the Red Sea by trucks. Since then, the water has been biologically managed according to NOVATON’s sustainable closed aquaculture system.
There is no water discharge into nature at any stage – as is the case with traditional shrimp farms. Only very small quantities of water are added from a local freshwater-well, to compensate for the evaporation and sludge extracted. This in total, does not exceed 1% of the water volume in the basins over each production cycle.
The farm started operating in February 2020 and the first White Vannamei shrimp were harvested in May 2020. It obtained SAMAQ and BAP certifications early 2022.
The crops are distinguishable from many aspects: the shrimp have a bright white color, free of black veins and with a very thin and transparent shell. They are crunchy and firm in the muscle and free of any ammonia smell.
Over 90 restaurants and families tasted the first harvest of the Tabuk ‘desert’ shrimp and were overwhelmingly enthusiastic:
“My wife usually doesn’t eat shrimp because of its smell. NOVATON shrimp do not smell and she truly enjoyed them, even after one week of having frozen them.” said Mr. Petros Thomas, a marine aquaculture expert.
A mother called for getting more shrimp because her children changed their attitude towards seafood and asked for more after trying the NOVATON shrimp.
Mrs Hanan “Um Faisal” declared: “After seeing and tasting your NOVATON shrimp, you have changed my attitude towards buying shrimp. Now I know how shrimp should look and taste!”
Restaurants that received samples requested long term supply and said their customers where unanimously enthusiastic.
The Saudi media communicated its praise of this first production from a new generation of sustainable aquaculture as a first in the region.
Today, the Tabuk Farm is in operation and is regularly hosting local and international visitors.
The farm demonstrates the possibility to produce clean, natural seafood away from the sea and proves the suitability of NOVATON technologies in challenging climatic conditions.