Naturally well positioned
Kona Bay is headquartered in Waimea, Kauai, in the state of Hawaii, USA. Kona Bay is the largest aquaculture company in Hawaii and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of genetically-improved, specific-pathogen-free (SPF) shrimp broodstock.
The Kona Bay breeding center, hatchery, farm, and processing plant are the only shrimp farming facilities on the island of Kauai, which is separated from other Hawaiian islands by at least 200 km of deep ocean. Kona Bay’s isolated location, mild subtropical climate, and pure naturally-filtered seawater from deep wells offer an optimal environment for biosecure culture of shrimp.
We are an aquaculture breeding company developing shrimp as a source of protein without the necessity of depleting wild stocks for human consumption. Our farm and hatchery use sustainable hydro-electric power to operate all electrical systems. Our water supply is highly biosecure as the well-sourced, pristine saltwater is filtered through the volcanic substrata of the island for use in our shrimp breeding ponds.
The ponds are reusable polyurethane lined ponds that enable continuous use of the same ponds without increasing our geographic footprint. Via the use of Biofloc technology in the grow-out farm, we reduce the need for additional feed and decrease discharge frequency into our settlement basin.
Clams are being grown in the shrimp ponds, and they filter the water, decreasing the need for water exchange. The shrimp bi-products provide an excellent source of nutrition for the clams in a symbiotic relationship.
Part of Hendrix Genetics
Since 2017 Kona Bay is now part of Hendrix Genetics, a world-leading multispecies animal breeding company. This partnership aims to accelerate Kona Bay's shrimp breeding program by introducing advanced genetic and genomic technologies developed by Hendrix Genetics.
The collaboration also provides the capital necessary for the development of state-of-the-art breeding facilities for both shrimp species in Kauai, as well as the development of model hatcheries for the production of quality postlarvae in the key market regions around the world. In addition, a comprehensive program for specific disease resistance will be implemented to further enhance the quality of Kona Bay broodstock.
How it all started...
The history of our company begins with Kenneth Morrison, an agribusiness leader who has been a major producer of agricultural and fishing products, including potatoes, cotton, rice, sod, dairy, beef, and pork. During the 1960’s, Morrison produced alfalfa, an essential ingredient for virtually all animal feeds at the time. He developed advanced systems for alfalfa dehydration and pelleting, which he also applied to fishmeal production in Chile.
During one of Morrison’s trips to South America, he observed the early development of shrimp farming in Ecuador. He decided to invest in a processing and farming company and eventually expanded the operation to 2,000 ha of ponds. Using his broad experience in agriculture, he pioneered many early innovations in shrimp farming.
Morrison recognized the need to control the life cycle of shrimp, so he contracted France Aquaculture to build the first technological hatchery in Ecuador. He also built the first dedicated shrimp feed mill. To effectively distribute the feed to his 20-ha ponds, he used crop duster planes. To maximize the value of his products, Morrison processed them with cooking and brine freezing and sold them in head-on form.
By 1992, Morrison International's subsidiary, Granmar, was one of the largest shrimp producers in Ecuador--and one of the most innovative. Three hundred hectares (of its 1,300 hectares) were under intensive cultivation (using aeration), and fed from a plane that closely resembles a crop duster.
During the mid-1990’s, George Chamberlain collaborated with Morrison through his role as Director of Aquaculture for Ralston Purina International. Chamberlain warned Morrison of potential problems related to the white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) moving through Asia. Morrison decided to sell his integrated shrimp operation in 1998.
Kona Bay Marine Resources was founded on the big island of Hawaii, where it started a proprietary, bio-secure, land-based system at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority.
George Chamberlain joined Monsanto, where he led a project to develop shrimp-breeding systems and soy-based feeds. When the project ended, Chamberlain joined Morrison undertaking a breeding program for P. monodon as part of an integrated production operation in Asia.
Morrison and Chamberlain formed Black Tiger Aquaculture (BTA). Although their 880-ha intensive shrimp farm in Malaysia had a history of failures due to WSSV, they turned things around, renovating the processing plant and adding a hatchery, diagnostic lab, quarantine facilities, and broodstock ponds.
BTA soon embarked on a comprehensive program for the development of an SPF line of P. monodon. Donald Lightner, a pre-eminent authority on shrimp diseases, was contracted to assist in diagnostics. Chris Howell, an expert in breeding and hatchery management, was hired to manage the hatchery program. Using broodstock from Mozambique, increased hatchery and farm performance, and produced F2 breeding lines of SPF P. monodon. BTA postlarvae soon gained a reputation for high performance and stimulated strong demand throughout Malaysia.
On the Island of Kauai, the current Kona Bay shrimp farm first opened under Ceatech ownership. It soon reached a peak annual production of nearly 1 million pounds of shrimp and employed more than 60 residents.
When Malaysia was not assigned tariffs in the U.S. shrimp anti-dumping action, BTA became an attractive farming location. The Black Tiger operation was sold to Grobest in September of that year.
Before selling BTA, Chamberlain, Morrison, Howell, and Lightner formed a technology company called Integrated Aquaculture International to provide health, breeding, and nutrition products and services to shrimp farms throughout the region.
The operations of Kona Bay Marine Resources were shifted to the island of Kauai, where the hatchery, farm, and processing plant of Ceatec USA Inc were acquired.
A subsidiary of Integrated Aquaculture International purchased a majority interest in Kona Bay Marine Resources.
Hendrix Genetics, a leading multispecies animal breeding company based in The Netherlands, acquired a majority controlling stake. Kona Bay is headquartered in Waimea, Kauai, in the state of Hawaii, USA.
Hendrix Genetics/Kona Bay partners with Nutreco and local partner Ecuacultivos to establish a state-of-the-art shrimp hatchery. That will deliver high quality, high health Pacific white leg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) postlarvae to Ecuadorian farmers.
The new joint venture will take over the existing Macrobio hatchery and will focus on providing local shrimp production with the most advanced genetics and breeding technologies, nutritional solutions from the world leader in aquaculture feed supply, Skretting, combined with the best farming practices.