US (MN): Silver Bay aquaponics venture goes belly up

Bruce Carman Jr. talked a good talk. But after more than a year of hype, the 59-year-old entrepreneur has little to show for his pledge to demonstrate that aquaponics will be "the way of the future," as he told the News Tribune in 2016.

Doing business as Mariner Farms LLC, he had planned to take over, scale up and operate a Silver Bay aquaponics facility — which raised tilapia and used fish waste to help grow produce in an adjacent greenhouse — previously run by the University of Minnesota Duluth. But Carman's plans to commercialize the operation never materialized, and the research facility was simply forced to close.

Even as his efforts stalled in Silver Bay, Carman went off to peddle the idea of building additional facilities in other places. He successfully persuaded the city of International Falls to offer him a 1½ -acre site on the east side of town for $1, for the purpose of constructing Mariner Farms' second operation.

That property, too, sits unused today.

Meanwhile, Carman's legal problems continue to escalate.

Read more at the Duluth News Tribune (Peter Passi)

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