Why Seafood Is Poised for Silicon Valley-Style Disruption

National Geographic
  • Ian Evans
  • November 17, 2017

Fish 2.0 brings together startups and investors that want to make seafood more sustainable. Founder Monica Jain says emerging technologies and market forces will push the industry to change – sooner rather than later.

WHEN 40 STARTUPS from all over the world gathered at Stanford University in November, it was not a typical Silicon Valley pitch day. The entrepreneurs competing in the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum saw themselves more like the next Cargill than the next Google.

Monica Jain, Fish 2.0’s founder and executive director, believes the seafood industry is on the brink of dramatic change, driven by environmental concerns and market shifts such as a growing and more health-conscious global middle class and a boom in aquaculture.

Newer technologies, such as those that monitor fishing, improve seafood distribution and make fish feed more sustainable, could have a big effect on the industry, she said, and there’s no shortage of companies involved.

Startups that competed at Fish 2.0’s event came from around the world, including Canada, Thailand, Iceland, Indonesia and Vanuatu, and these were only the top-ranked among 184 companies that applied. The eight competition winners included a Peruvian firm working on traceable seafood, a Silicon Valley company using bacteria to make fish feed and Alaska entrepreneurs developing a floating salmon-processing platform.

Oceans Deeply spoke with Jain about the Fish 2.0 event and the new ideas she sees coming to the seafood industry.

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