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Hawaii company wins permit for tuna farm

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A Honolulu-based company that wants to farm ahi in waters off the Big Island has received a federal permit.

Hawaii Oceanic Technology, Inc. said Thursday the state’s Department of Health has issued it a permit under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that regulates the discharge of pollutants into U.S. waters.

The company several years ago won approval from the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to use large underwater cages to grow the tuna about three miles off the coast of Kaiwahae.

The project would be nation’s first tuna farm and the world’s first commercial bigeye farm.

The company aims to artificially hatch bigeye at a university lab in Hilo. The company will later take the fish to grow in giant ocean pens.

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