Could a Partnership Born of Fish 2.0 Become the Red Bull of Seafood?

National Geographic
  • National Geographic
  • Monica Jain, January 6, 2017

There’s a global divide at the heart of the seafood industry: the businesses that most need new technologies are often continents away from the businesses creating them

Small-scale seafood operations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa catch and farm most of the seafood we eat. Startups in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are developing most of the technologies that promise to improve logistics, traceability, fish feeds, and aquaculture production. But distance and limited resources mean these businesses rarely meet. Bridging this divide is an essential step toward both healthy oceans and a healthy, equitable food supply

That’s one reason we open Fish 2.0 to a diverse range of seafood enterprises from around the world. The Fish 2.0 competition process not only helps ventures improve individually but builds trust and gives technology and product innovators the chance to find and connect with investors as well as other fishing businesses, seafood farmers, and technology creators. Finalists gain insights into parts of the supply chain previously hidden from them and are able to form relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs they otherwise would not have met. The result is new business partnerships that offer unique growth opportunities for investors, as well as solutions to the seafood industry’s most difficult problems.

Aquaculture innovators click

My favorite recent example is the new joint venture between 2015 Canadian finalist and track winner SabrTech and Thailand based runner-up Green Innovative Biotechnology (GIB). SabrTech’s RiverBox system reduces pollution from farm runoff and grows an algae-based feed from the captured wastewater. Bangkok-based GIB has developed a feed supplement that boosts the immune systems of farm-raised fish and shrimp, leading to higher growth rates, greater resistance to diseases such as early mortality syndrome, and lower feed costs. Both technologies solve aquaculture production and cost issues using naturally derived solutions.

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