The next seafood frontier: The ocean

September 5, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

The article below is from the May 2009 Fortune Small Business.

He drove a pickup from Long Island to the Alabama coast, where he rode a boat 50 miles offshore and caught 10 red snapper. He put the fish in a 2,000-liter fiberglass tank that he’d jerry-rigged with oxygen and water-filtering systems, towed them back to New York in a U-Haul and dropped them into a 3,000-gallon tank installed in his parents’ basement. (Luckily for O’Hanlon, his family was equally fish-obsessed.)

He made the round trip twice more, ending up with 30 snapper – enough to start some serious breeding. At 18, O’Hanlon founded Snapperfarm, farming 10-pound fish that grew naturally in a third of the time it took to breed a similar-size salmon. Over six years, O’Hanlon grew sales to $500,000 a year.

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