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.
“Fish 2.0 was an excellent opportunity to talk about emerging sustainable seafood solutions across the value chain,” says Catherine Emrick, Tides Canada’s Senior Associate, Aquaculture Innovation. “There was no question that sustainable aquaculture is a critical component of meeting the increasing global demand for seafood, and it has an essential role in ensuring a sustainable wild capture fishery.”
The winners included businesses from Canada, Mexico, the U.S., Chile, and Vanuatu. The Canadian winner was Nova Scotia–based SabrTech. Their RiverBox system, which provides algae-based aquaculture feed using waste streams from fish farms, was recognized for its great potential for social and environmental impact.
For Catherine, in addition to highlighting the success in the industry, the business competition also provided an illuminating look at what investors are looking for and insight for Tides Canada’s Salmon Aquaculture Innovation Fund. For instance, the fund has helped support research and business development for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS)—land-based fish farms which allow all year round control and delivery of fish. The Fish 2.0 investors wanted to see more proof of business viability before investing in RAS.
“While it was disappointing to hear that some investors on the competition’s RAS panel want to see three years of profitability before investing in this space, panelist Mike Velings of Aqua-spark was clear in saying, ‘it is inevitable that RAS is one of the solutions of the future’,” says Catherine. “This reinforces how important the early support from solutions-oriented foundations like Tides Canada and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, organizations like Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, along with early impact investors like RAS panelist Jim Lawley, are to advancing sustainable aquaculture solutions.”