By Bruce Gil, published on TheMessenger.Business

Abu Dhabi-based startup Ocean Harvest is looking to raise $180 million for a 100,000 square-meter salmon farming facility in a northeastern region of the United Arab Emirates.

The seafood startup plans to buy salmon eggs from Norway, Iceland and Denmark and begin operations at its first hatchery in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah by 2026, according to The Circuit. The company expects to start selling 3,500 metric tons of Atlantic salmon in its first phase and earn $35.6 million in revenue revenue by 2028. By 2030, it expects revenues to reach $43 million.

“We’re looking for strategic investors, sovereign wealth funds, impact investors [and] infrastructure investors because we need those kinds of shareholders,” the company’s new CEO, Jawad Jamil, told The Circuit on Sept. 10.

Citizens of the Gulf state love fish, and Ocean Harvest calls Atlantic salmon “the pink jewel of the sea.” The country’s annual per capita consumption is 66 pounds — almost 50% higher than the global average of 45 pounds, according to the Center for Strategic & International Studies. The UAE imports more than 70% of the 220,000 tons of fish it consumes every year, according to Arabian Gulf Business Insight.

Jamil joined Ocean Harvest last month to oversee the development of the company’s first land-based salmon farm, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Ocean Harvest will use a recirculating aquaculture system from French company Suez. Instead of deploying antibiotics and pesticides, water from the tanks will be cleaned and recirculated every 30 minutes.