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Blue Shore Fishery Invests $1.3 Million To Produce Asian Carp Food Products In Farmington, Kentucky

Blue Shore Fishery is investing more than $1.3 million to transform a former 11,000 square foot catfish-processing facility, on 53 acres off S.R. 97 in Farmington, Kentucky. The facility will be used to produce food products from Asian Carp.

Its western Kentucky facility will process Asian carp caught by local commercial fishermen and create 66 jobs in Graves County. Blue Shore plans to add 5,000 square feet at the facility in the future. The company also owns two other facilities in Kentucky: RCB Fish Company in Ledbetter and Fin Gourmet in Paducah, a research and development operation.

Blue Shore’s products, including surimi, a fish paste that can be used to make crab sticks, fish cakes and other foods, contain high-quality fish and fresh local ingredients with no fillers, additives or preservatives. The company plans to sell to wholesale markets in the U.S. and overseas, particularly in Asia.

“We at Blue Shore Fishery have found Graves County to be a vibrant, resourceful and supportive partner,” said co-owner Dr. John Crilly. “We also would not be where we are today without the excellent work done by Riley Construction and all of their associated contractors and suppliers. 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.”

As an incentive, Blue Shore’s owners received assistance from the Kentucky Innovation Network Office in Murray. The Network, which consists of 13 statewide offices that support Kentucky’s small businesses, helped the owners make connections for marketing and Web development, finding access to capital and exporting.

In addition, to encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily 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.

Blue Shore Fishery is also eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.

“It is great to celebrate an entrepreneurial success story like that of Blue Shore Fishery,” said Governor 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.”

“Congratulations to Blue Shore Fishery on the opening of this facility in Graves County,” Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen said. “Not only does this mean jobs for Kentuckians, but it’s expected to add to Kentucky’s record-breaking export figures. The Commonwealth exported $27.5 billion to nearly 200 countries last year, and we welcome this opportunity for growth.”

An invasive species, Asian carp compete with native fish and are overpopulating. “In the last couple of years we’ve seen economic growth around the region as opportunities increase to take advantage of the Asian carp population in the Mississippi and Ohio rivers,” said Rep. Richard Heath, of Mayfield.

Loretta Daniel, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office at Murray State University, said, “Working with Blue Shore Fishery from a vision based on the potential market for this product to seeing the grand opening of that vision is a wonderful thing to see… They were able to take a fish that is a problem for our waterways and find opportunity. They took a factory built for a specific purpose and revived it as a productive facility that will create jobs for this region. That is what entrepreneurs do and why they are so vital for our region."

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