BIAC operates a 10-acre aquafarm to serve the world market for premium, live abalone. The facility is located on Hawaii's Big Island on the Kona Coast, near the Kailua-Kona International Airport. The abalone aquafarm is one of the largest in the world.
The Kona Coast of Hawaii was chosen as the ideal location to produce abalone for several reasons. First, the Kona Coast receives more sunlight per year than any other coastal location in the USA. Such sunlight is critical for growing large volumes of abalone food: kelp. Secondly, BIAC's aquafarm has access to a constant supply of pure, cold, nutrient-rich seawater, pumped from a depth of 3,000 feet in the Pacific Ocean near the Kona Coast. This seawater is also essential for growing both Kona Coast Abalone and the kelp to feed the abalone. Lastly, Hawaii's location midway between Asia and North America allows us to ship fresh, live abalone to markets on both continents. The aquafarm currently produces 80 to 90 tons of live abalone per year and houses nearly 5 million abalone in our growout system alone.
NELHA's deepwater pipe is critical to BIAC's aquafarm. NELHA has operated a 30-inch deepwater pipe since 1974. In 2002, NELHA deployed a new 55-inch pipe that stretches to a depth of 3,000 feet, and can deliver 27,000 gallons per minute. This new pipe ensures adequate deep seawater capacity for NELHA tenants such as BIAC.
Abalone and algae tanks:
Sorting and boxing live abalone for export:
(Below) The new deepwater pipe measures 55 inches in diameter. (Right) Divers stand on the end of the 9,000-foot pipe floating in the waters off of Keahole Point prior to sinking it for deployment: