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Sustainable aquaculture

Philanthropic problem addressed?

World’s pristine aquatic ecosystems are under enormous pressure. At sea, 80% of global fisheries are overfished, and as much as 30% are beyond irreversible collapse. 90% of world’s population of big fish like tuna, shark, swordfish and grouper are destroyed. And as pressure on fisheries to reach their targets is increasing, as much as 75% of caught fish is by catch, and shoveled into the ocean, dead or deadly injured. And just as things can’t become worse, more and more fish are treated as toxic waste, as the levels of PCB, mercury and other heavy metals in most fish are seriously increasing. Some high trophic fish as tuna swordfish, and eel, have to be discarded as toxic waste.

Indicative size philanthropic problem addressed?

Today, about 40 million tons of fish are caught for the production of fish meal and fish oil, and 50% of all fish meal and 80% of all fish oil is used for feeding other fish. High trophic fish like tuna, cod, salmon and shrimp, require 3-6 kg of fish to produce 1 kg of fish. And since the world’s fisheries are dramatically declining, we know that aquaculture of fish that eat fish, doesn’t have so much room to grow any more. The main problem is, that we are mainly eating high predatory fish. If we compare current aquaculture practices with agriculture, it’s like growing tiger and wolf for human consumption.

What makes your project a ‘breakthrough’ innovation?

the integrated culture of low trophic species in recirculating aquaculture systems, where we filter and re-use the water constantly, aiming for a zero exchange. Low trophic species require no or only small amounts of fish meal. In this way we create animal protein from vegetable protein, just like we do on land with cow and sheep. Furthermore, low trophic species are unapproachable for build up of toxic substances, as they are at the bottom of the food chain. In recirculating systems, we discharge almost no water, and we are able to reuse the waste to certain extent, thereby fully committed to a zero waste output. Another advantage to this, is that we grow our fish in a controlled and biosecure system, so no oil leak or other toxic waste stream can reach our fish. The water pump, the heart of the recirculation system, and other electrical devices can obtain their current from solar, wind or other ecological power. In northern countries, warm water species can be grown in water which is heated with heat pumps, solar boilers, or greenhouses. Even better, is the integration of fish or crustaceans, with the cultivation of plants and vegetables. The water that is stocked at site for the vegetables, can be used to grow fish. Thereby, the fish waste and the carbon dioxide exhausted by the animals, will provide an improved growth for the plants. Shortly, what we want to achieve in this design, is the imitation of natural ecosystems on industrial scale.

Upcoming R&D milestone(s)?

Finalize new species breeding program in prototype RAS

Estimated time to philanthropic impact:

With your financial support

1 year(s)

Estimated budget required to achieve upcoming R&D milestone?

250.000 euro

Estimated time to achieve upcoming R&D milestone with indicated budget?

12 months