Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the opening of TimberFish Technologies, a one-of-a-kind, high-tech fish production facility, in Western New York. TimberFish will be investing $555,000 and utilizing Empire State Development's grant of $100,000 to build a treatment-production system at the Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing facility, located at 8398 West Main Street in Westfield. The wastewater from the distillery will be pumped through pipes into a tank that will clean the water to be used in the growth tanks. The unit will be able to produce approximately 20,000 pounds per year of high quality fish, such as Speckled Trout, Arctic Char and Atlantic Salmon, that will be sold at local markets.
"TimberFish Technologies is yet another example of the many innovative and groundbreaking companies that have chosen to grow and nurture their business in Western New York," Governor Cuomo said. "This company's decision to plant their roots in this region will spur the local economy while creating jobs, adding more momentum to Western New York's revitalization."
TimberFish, a WNY Regional Economic Development priority project, will grow fish by reusing all the byproduct nutrients from the distillery and brewery production at the site combined with locally produced wood chips. This will help to create nutrient rich seafood, bio-energy feed stocks and clean water.
In addition to seafood sales, the demonstration in Westfield will serve to develop engineering, operational and market data for several commercial operations. TimberFish's technology could provide economic incentives for cleaning waste water throughout the US and the world. The company plans to locate its facilities in economically depressed rural communities to help promote economic growth by creating jobs.
"The TimberFish project ties together many of our job creation and environmental goals, and is a symbol of the innovation-based economy that is emerging in Western New York," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, who attended today's opening. "This process will result in healthy seafood produced for local markets and reduces the volume of pollutants that could affect water quality in our communities. It's an exciting new approach that we're proud to support through Empire State Development."
Founder of TimberFish Technologies Jere Northrop said, "Environmental pollution and rising populations threaten our future food supply and safety. TimberFish solves this problem by ecologically and sustainably producing seafood from nonagricultural land in a manner that is economically competitive in today's marketplace."
TimberFish was incorporated as an LLC in New York State in 2008. Founder Jere Northrop, Ph.D., spent over 40 years of developmental work on ecologically sustainable agriculture. Northrop has plenty of experience in the environmental sector having worked with agricultural, industrial food processing, and municipal wastewater treatment systems and large nutrient and manure management systems.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "TimberFish Technologies' unique and innovative process for producing fish is helping to create a new eco-friendly industry, while generating new jobs and economic activity in Western New York. We're proud to support a project that is a win-win for the environment and our economy."
Senator Catharine Young said, "Our state has a rich history of being on the cutting edge of agricultural industry technology. Today's grand opening of TimberFish Technologies new, innovative and environmentally sustainable fish production facility is another exciting example of that leadership and an economic development win for Chautauqua County. I applaud everyone whose vision, determination and support made today possible and look forward to the long-term, positive impact that this facility will have on the region's economy and quality of life."
Assemblymember Andy Goodell said, "I admire the scientists at TimberFish who have designed a sustainable system for growing fish using wastewater from breweries. I look forward to eating the fish raised in Chautauqua County when they come to market."
County Executive Vincent Horrigan said, "I would like to congratulate Jim Timlin and Jere Northrup on this exciting new venture in Chautauqua County. Special thanks to Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul for taking the time to again visit our county to celebrate another exciting economic development project," said Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan. "You are here today for the 1st public commercial fish stocking event of 3 species of fish made possible, in part, with the commitment of Empire State Development CFA grant funding and a Direct Energy grant."
Mayor Michael VandeVelde said, "TimberFish is a unique high tech business that we are excited to welcome to Westfield. We look forward to seeing the company grow and expand across the state and possibly even internationally in the future."
Town Supervisor Martha Bills said, "We are pleased that Westfield's brilliant native son, Jere Northrop, chose to build TimberFish in his home town. Westfield is proud to play a role in growing this unique high tech business which has the potential to provide hundreds of new jobs to residents in the future."
Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and President of the State University of New York at Fredonia, Dr. Virginia Horvath said, "The scientists who are working to grow seafood in brewery and distillery waste water have taken their brilliant experiment and turned it into a business that will bring new jobs to the region."
Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and President of SolEpoxy Inc., Jeff Belt said, "The TimberFish project garnered the attention and support of the REDC because it is innovative, environmentally responsible and has the potential to create hundreds of jobs as the business expands. Beer battered fish is popular but fish grown in brewing by products may be a whole new recipe for economic success in Westfield."
After decades of research and development in the area of microbial biomass technology and waste treatment systems, TimberFish, LLC was formed in 2008 with the goal of practically applying these technologies to fully integrated food and energy production. The TimberFish team, led by Ph.D. biophysicist Jere Northrop, biotechnology inventor and serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in animal agriculture, wastewater treatment, and nutrient management systems, is now positioned as a significant technology developer and holder of intellectual property.