For most health-conscious people, opting for fish instead of meat or chicken is a more sensible choice both for their health and for the environment. Given that 85% of the world’s oceans are already being fished to capacity or beyond, a different methodology must be applied to manage this.
There are 3 core challenges which must be addressed to meet our appetite for fish. Thankfully innovative companies across the globe are doing their best to change the way the industry operates at its core.
- Fish feed: Overfishing of forage fish to feed farmed seafood.
Calysta, a biotech firm in Menlo Park, California, has developed and patented ‘microbial protein’ which is a fermented feed pellet for fish farms made from methane-eating bacteria. This protein is now being mixed into feed at some Norwegian salmon farms as a replacement for fish meal, no longer requiring the overfishing of forage fish for this same purpose.
- Water Pollution: Damage of fish waste to the aqua ecosystem.
Cryoocyte is a reproductive technology platform for high-precision fish farming, which improves the selective breeding process of fish without any genetic modification. This platform helps reduce feed use by increasing food conversion ratios, subsequently cutting down the amount of waste produced to achieve the same fish output.
- Disease Management: Adverse effect of chemicals and antibiotics to the fish and consumer.
Proteon has developed a solution against pseudomonas and aeromonas infections in fish using Phages, which are naturally occurring organisms that target one type of bacteria. These organisms replace antibiotics which attack both the harmful bacteria and the resident friendly bacteria, leading to opportunistic infection and resistance.
While this is a good start, considering the steep rise in demand, the creative application of technology in the fish production field must be accelerated to meet our needs. Whether this is inventing fish-like protein solutions the way egg and chicken is now being created in the laboratory, or steering our appetite to less environmentally taxing seafood such as sea cucumbers, the shift must happen swiftly.
To pioneer change in this field, the Australian government is doing their part to support relevant ventures financially.
If you are working on an innovative solution to address the challenges in the fishing industry, there may be funding available to support the R&D, commercialisation and international marketing of your solution. Please feel free contact our team to explore the best options available for your company.
Ayla Kremb – Fundraising Specialist, Catalyst Solutions ASPAC