Aqua-Spark, an Investment Fund for Sustainable Aquaculture, is helping pave the way towards a more sustainable, clean and healthy aquaculture industry through its first investments into a fishmeal replacement and a vertically integrated African fish farm.
\"By investing into small-to-medium enterprises that are working toward the production of safe, accessible aquatic life, such as fish, shellfish and plants, in ways that do not harm the world’s oceans, Aqua-Spark is committed to building and scaling aquaculture operations as a means towards helping solve looming environmental and food security challenges over the long-term,\" said Mike Velings, co-founder and Managing Partner of Aqua-Spark.
“Sustainable fish farming is a multifaceted complex. We look to replace certain ingredients in fishfeed, such as fishmeal, fish oil and terrestrial animal products. We look for species that have a sensible food conversion ratio and that are not too vulnerable to disease. We look and strive for best husbandry practices, reducing and avoiding antibiotics and so on,” commented Mr Velings.
Launched in December 2013 Aqua-Spark has alaread raised $10 million for investments into sustainable aquaculture. The company aims to increase the fund to $400 million and to build a portfolio of 60-80 companies by 2025.
For its first round of investments, valued at $4 million, Aqua-Spark is investing in new sustainable fish feed ingredient from Calysta and into developing a sustainable aquaculture industry in Africa through Chicoa.
“We chose Calysta because it offers a perfect, sustainable, healthy replacement for fishmeal. And Calysta will do so at a scale that will have a real impact throughout the industry. We also expect our portfolio companies to benefit from their product,” explained Mr Velings.
“Chicoa is part of our wider strategy for sub-Saharan Africa, where we plan to invest in multiple integrated tilapia farms in different regions, combining best practices. Together with our partners, such as WorldFish, we aim to create a platform to help these companies excel. Chicoa\'s founders have decades of experience in tilapia farming in Africa and are our first foothold on the continent.”
Soure: Lucy Towers, The Fish Site. Read the full article here.