• The Race to Find Fish Feeds That Don’t Bankrupt the Ocean


    Wild fisheries are stable at best and declining at worst. That means we need aquaculture to meet the world’s growing demand for protein. And to feed the world sustainably, the industry has to figure out how to feed farmed fish without using wild fish stocks.

    Fish feed stood out in our Fish 2.0 Market Report research as a huge opportunity for innovation. Most farmed fish need some form of prepared feed to grow, and fish feed prices are on the rise as demand strongly outpaces supply. The aquaculture industry has doubled over the past 20 years, but it is still using fish feeds developed in the 1990s. It’s time for a new approach.

    This is why the F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge caught my eye. F3 essentially sets up a race to become a major player in the alternative fish feed market. Competitors sign up, send in a sample of their feed for analysis, and if it’s accepted as seafood-free, start recording their sales. A $200,000 prize goes to the company that sells the most fish-free feed by September 15, 2017, or to the first one to sell 100,000 metric tons of feed—about 5,000 truckloads.

    For full article click here 

  • Why Dealmakers Are Getting Hooked on Aquaculture


    A small fish swallowed a bigger fish when the U.K.'s Benchmark Holdings bought Belgium's Inve Aquaculture from Coöperatieve Rabobank and Royal Bank of Scotland in December for about £227 million ($321.8 million).

    Before making its move, the Sheffield, England-based buyer spent four years studying Inve, during which time Benchmark went public with a listing on London's small-cap exchange, added salmon breeding and genetics through acquisitions in Norway and Iceland, and tilapia genetics and breeding through another Norwegian purchase. It watched as Inve's creditors took full control in a 2012 debt-for-equity swap and reshaped the entity into a business with 20% of the world market for shrimp and fish hatcheries and nurseries. Benchmark approached Inve long before an auction was ever in the cards.

    "It was a complicated deal, but sometimes the way you structure a transaction can improve the outcome for both parties," said Benchmark CEO and co-founder Malcolm Pye. "To do that, you have to really get inside the business you're seeking to acquire. This was a long piece of work for us and we were really excited to get over the finish line."

    For full article click here 

  • Video: Growing Seafood Demand Spawns Aquaculture Dealmaking Wave


    To view video click here 

    Around the world, people are eating more seafood, daily per capita fish consumption set to reach about 45 pounds by 2022, with most of the growth coming from China. But as wild catches are depleted, fish farming is taking off. Aquaculture is now a $140-billion plus industry, prompting a new dealmaking wave. Strategic buyers including Mitsubishi, of Japan, and Cargill, of Minnesota, are leading the way. NYSE-Marine Harvest, the world's top salmon farmer, is also still growing, opening its first feed factory in Norway in 2014 and building a new feed factory in Scotland in 2014. Interest is also strong among financial investors like the Aqua-Spark investment fund of the Netherlands, which has a goal of getting up to 60 to 80 portfolio companies over the course of 10 years across the value chain. The Deal's Renee Cordes reports from Brussels.

  • Slow fish: Preventing waste via packaging


    BluWrap technology extending product shelf life, reducing carbon footprint of seafood

    It’s a radical idea, at first glance. In a world where faster is thought to be infinitely better, especially for a highly perishable product like fresh seafood, the very thought of slowing down the supply chain from days-to-market to months-to-market is deeply counterintuitive.

    But what if doing just that — slowing a fish’s speed to market — could dent the high rates of food waste that dog the seafood industry, increase transparency along the supply chain and reduce the hefty carbon footprint the industry generates?

    It’s an idea being preached by BluWrap CEO Mark Barnekow, and one that caught the attention of an audience packed with impact investors and seafood entrepreneurs at Fish 2.0, a seafood business competition held at Stanford University in November.

    For full article click here 

  • Can Land-Based Fish Farms Solve Farmed Seafood Woes?


    New contained aquaculture systems could bring local seafood to land-locked communities and change the industry in other important ways, too.

    More than half the seafood eaten globally is now farmed. And yet for some, aquaculture conjures up images of escaped fish, crowded pens, antibiotics, and ocean pollution in Asia, where nearly 90 percent of today’s aquaculture takes place. Now some entrepreneurs are bringing aquaculture on land. In the process, many hope to find a sustainable solution to the growing demand for a low-input, clean source of protein.

    One of them is Tracey Carrillo, an agronomy professor at New Mexico State University. Carrillo initially started producing chemical-free shrimp as part of an experiment to see if they could be fed with organic cottonseed protein, an underutilized part of the cotton crop. When he had an abundance of shrimp on his hands, eager locals lined up around the block.Quixotic fish farm tilapia

    “We’d send an email out to the college and the response was overwhelming,” he said. “[It was] the novelty of ‘Whoa, they’re growing fresh shrimp in the desert.’”

    For full article clickhere 

  • Fish 2.0 Finals Spotlight Surging Innovation in Seafood


    Our oceans and the people who depend on them are in trouble. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, about 70 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited or collapsing under the pressure of a $390 billion global seafood market. Yet analysts expect seafood demand to double by 2050, and island and coastal communities around the world depend on seafood for both sustenance and economic health.

    The Fish 2.0 business competition was founded to accelerate solutions to this huge challenge by connecting sustainable fishing and aquaculture ventures with potential investors who could help them thrive. The value of making these connections was clear from last week’s 2015 Fish 2.0 Competition Finals & Sustainable Seafood Innovation Forum at Stanford University, where 37 entrepreneurs took the stage to pitch their businesses to investors. This talented group—which rose to the top in a four-phase process that initially involved 170 entrants—reflected the surge in entrepreneurial activity in the seafood sector worldwide, as well as the diversity and creativity of the responses to seafood’s social and environmental challenges.

    For full article click here 

  • Announcing winners of this year’s Fish 2.0 competition—innovations in aquaculture


    Tides Canada continues to support the Fish 2.0 business competition (via our Salmon Aquaculture Innovation Fund) to advance sustainable aquaculture solutions that protect wild salmon and the marine environment while encouraging a successful seafood industry.

    The Fish 2.0 competition connects global sustainable seafood and aquaculture businesses with potential investors. Through the competition, companies have the opportunity to improve their business models and pitch their ideas to a broad range of investors and supply chain partners. For investors, the competition exposes them to some of the top business ventures in the seafood sector. In the end, everyone gains from the knowledge and access that Fish 2.0 offers to increase investment in the sustainable seafood sector.

    The winners of the Fish 2.0 business competition were announced last week in Stanford, California, recognizing the amazing innovations taking place in aquaculture, consumer products, and local fisheries.

    For full article click here 

  • Aquaculture finalists dominate seafood funding competition


    Sustainable seafood business competition Fish 2.0 has selected 37 companies to pitch to investors at its Stanford University final in November, with aquaculture-focused businesses representing over a third of the group.

    The competition, that aims to help build knowledge and investor connections in the global seafood industry after founder Monica Jain noticed a huge hole in investor portfolios, received 170 applications from businesses across the globe. This is twice the number that applied in the competition’s first iteration in 2013.

    "The diversity and breadth of the finalists shows that innovation in seafood is growing all over the world. We are especially excited to see sustainability and invention taking root in the markets where the fish are coming from, not just where they are consumed—and to see change happening throughout the supply chain,” wrote Jain in a press release.

    For full article click here 

  • What to feed the fish? Demand for Feed Attracts Innovators and Investors

     

    What to feed the fish? Rising demand from the fast-growing aquaculture industry has put pressure on traditional sources of fish meal and driven prices to record highs.

    That has led to the development of a raft of alternative feed ingredients and sustainable solutions to support the projected growth of the global fish feed market to $123 billion in 2019 from $75 billion today. Small startup companies are pioneering feed based on insects, microbes and algae; agribusiness giants, including Cargill, are consolidating providers of more traditional blends of marine and vegetable proteins.

    “The fish feed industry is primed for a major disruption,” according to a recent market report from Fish 2.0, the seafood business competition now underway.

    The report argues that fish meal is no longer a commodity, but a strategic component of aquaculture, the world’s fastest-growing agricultural sector and a larger protein provider than the global beef industry. Fish farms supply half the fish consumed globally, and that share could rise to two-thirds by 2019, according to the World Bank.

    [Click here for the full article]

  • Sustainable Seafood Businesses Tackle Food Deserts with an Ancient Farming Technique

     

    One of the most interesting trends to emerge from the Fish 2.0 business competition is the increasing use of aquaponics, which combines fish farming (aquaculture) with growing plants in water (hydroponics). This is nothing new—people have been practicing aquaponics for centuries, in the Aztecs’ floating crop islands, the rice paddies of Asia and elsewhere. What’s different now is that entrepreneurs are developing technologies and business models for commercial-scale aquaponics farms serving communities with limited access to locally grown fish and vegetables.

    This is exciting because many parts of the world—in developed and developing countries—don’t have enough fresh seafood and produce, which are essential to good nutrition. Aquaponics farms deliver produce in bountiful amounts, plus seafood in growing volumes, and they can do it with far less environmental impact than dry-land farms. In fact, aquaponics is a model of simplicity and efficiency.

    Here’s how it works: The fish—most commonly tilapia, catfish and shrimp—grow in their own tank, nourished by fish feed. The water carrying their nutrient-rich waste then gets pumped to an adjacent bed of floating produce, such as basil and other herbs, tomatoes, head lettuce and salad greens. As the produce absorbs the nutrients through its roots, it naturally filters and cleanses the water, which then recirculates back to the fish tank.

    [Click here for the full article]

  • Aquaculture Startups Dominate Finals of Sustainable Seafood Business Competition

     

    Sustainable seafood business competition Fish 2.0 has selected 37 companies to pitch to investors at its Stanford University final in November, with aquaculture-focused businesses representing over a third of the group.

    The competition — which aims to help build knowledge and connections in the global seafood industry, after founder Monica Jain noticed a large, fish-shaped hole in investor portfolios — received 170 applications from businesses across the globe. This is twice the number that applied in the competition’s first iteration in 2013. Its geographical diversity has also widened to 17 countries to include the United States, Canada, Latin America, the South Pacific, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

    “The diversity and breadth of the finalists shows that innovation in seafood is growing all over the world. We are especially excited to see sustainability and invention taking root in the markets where the fish are coming from, not just where they are consumed—and to see change happening throughout the supply chain,” wrote Jain in a press release.

    [Click here for the full article]

  • Sustainable aquaculture surfaces as a target for food investors

    • GreenBiz.
    • Monica Jain, September 9, 2015

     

    The farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans and plants is the fastest-growing agriculture sector in the world, valued at over $144 billion, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

    And there are ample opportunities in the sustainable aquaculture and fish feed sectors to help solve ocean health and food access problems.

    Looking at the strong group of semifinalists in the 2015 Fish 2.0 business competition — which connects sustainable seafood entrepreneurs with investors — I’m struck by the potential for aquaculture businesses to make a real difference in seafood sustainability.

    [Click here for the full article]

  • Fish 2.0: Bridging the Gap Between Investors and Aquaculture

     

    “Never before have people consumed so much fish, or depended so greatly on the sector for their well-being,” reads the Food and Agriculture Organization’s most recent report on The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.

    Fish provides a nutritious source of protein but also employs a huge number of people; in fact employment in the sector has grown faster than the world’s population, according to FAO. And for this reason, the creation and promotion of a sustainable fisheries and aquaculture sector is essential.

    [Click here for the full article]

  • Fish 2.0 Puts Sustainable Businesses in Spotlight

     

    In an effort to combine her early education in marine biology and her later work with a business degree and several years in venture capital and financial banking, Monica Jain has come up with a competition that connects sustainable aquaculture companies with potential investors and other funding sources.

    Fish 2.0 is a biannual event sponsored by major foundations, like the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Tides Canada, and investment firms like AquaSpark and RSF Social Finance, to gain knowledge and build connections needed to increase investments in the sustainable seafood sector, including mariculture and aquaponics.

    [Click here for the full article]

  • Connecting sustainable seafood businesses with investors, resources with Fish 2.0

     

    Driving business growth while creating positive environmental and social change might seem a bold endeavour, but the team at Fish 2.0 not only believe it can be done, they’ve created the forum to make it happen.

    Now in its second installment, Fish 2.0 is a business competition that connects global sustainable seafood and aquaculture businesses with potential investors. Through the competition, businesses have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a broad range of investors and supply chain partners who are interested in seafood and can help their businesses grow. For investors, the competition exposes them to some of the top business ventures in the seafood sector. In the end, everyone gains from the knowledge and access that Fish 2.0 offers to increase investment in the sustainable seafood sector.

    Tides Canada is proud to once again support Fish 2.0, following the success of the competition’s launch in 2013. As part of our work to advance aquaculture solutions that protect wild salmon and the marine environment through the Tides Canada Salmon Aquaculture Innovation Fund, we aim to bring sustainable aquaculture practices to scale through opportunities like Fish 2.0.

    [Click here for the full article]

  • Financing Aquaculture - new report by Manta Consulting

    This second investment briefing paper focuses on the aquaculture market and opportunities for innovation in the various industry segments.  Click here to download it.