INVE Aquaculture, part of Benchmark, celebrates its 40th anniversary. This milestone not only marks a festive moment but also the culmination of four decades of pioneering work that has been at the cradle of the aquaculture industry as we know it today. In line with INVE’s philosophy of operating in close proximity to its customers, the company will celebrate this anniversary by hosting small-scale events throughout the year and across the globe.
The cradle of global aquaculture
Founded in 1983 as Artemia Systems, a Ghent University spin-off, INVE Aquaculture was born out of the groundbreaking research done by early aquaculture pioneers. The request by FAO to explore the viability of commercial aquaculture in 1978 established the foundation on which the first generation of INVE luminaries developed the world’s first scalable live food solutions. This remarkable breakthrough was – looking back at it now – what made the surge of global aquaculture possible. Up to this day, INVE Aquaculture stands as a living testament to this legacy of turning scientific knowledge into workable aquaculture practices.
Together with pioneers from around the world, visionary INVE scientists were at the cradle of aquaculture as we know it today. In the picture, Patrick Sorgeloos, Philippe Léger, Patrick Lavens, Wim Tackaert, Erik Van Ballaer and Pepino Candreva, among others. Credits: INVE Aquaculture
From pioneer to industry leader
Throughout its history, INVE Aquaculture has not only evolved with the ever-changing landscape of aquaculture but has also played an instrumental role in shaping it. The company's dedication to research and development has been unwavering from pioneering technologies in larval rearing and hatchery management to leading the way in sustainable practices.
As it celebrates its 40th anniversary, INVE Aquaculture continues to be a beacon of innovation, confident to meet the challenges of the future while fostering the responsible growth of the aquaculture industry. True to its academic heritage, INVE Aquaculture embodies the spirit of scientific innovation and entrepreneurship. A strong commitment to customer-centricity, and sustainable growth has enabled INVE to become a global leader in shrimp and marine fish hatchery nutrition.
“Science-based innovation is at the core of our origin, and in this rapidly expanding industry, innovation in collaboration with our valued customers remains our driving force for sustainable growth. At INVE, our customers' efficiency is our prime focus. We are customer-centric, and their success translates into our success,” said Patrick Waty, CEO of INVE Aquaculture.
An unceasing beacon of innovation
In recent years, INVE specialists have developed technologies like Artemia SEP-Art, a clean method for separating nauplii from cyst shells, and probiotics for health and bioremediation, which promote a reduction in the reliance on traditional treatments, leading to cleaner harvests.
The most recent example of INVE's dedication to innovation is the launch a few weeks ago of the revolutionary SnappArt tool, a unique AI-powered live food counter. Initially launched in Europe, this cutting-edge technology solution aims to redefine the aquaculture industry globally. It offers real-time analysis and monitoring of live food quantities, contributing to feeding efficiency and sustainability.
Credits: INVE Aquaculture
Care for growth: a holistic approach to aquaculture
Each of these innovations fits into INVE’s holistic ‘Care for Growth’ approach, which is aimed at enhancing the performance and well-being of aquatic species through proven solutions in the fields of nutrition, health, and environment. As part of Benchmark, INVE increasingly seeks synergies between its specific expertise and the growing knowledge in the field of genetics. This is because selective breeding opens the possibility of rearing more resilient and productive animals. Combined with balanced nutrition and optimal health and living conditions, genetics create a well-rounded approach to aquaculture improvement that prioritizes both productivity and sustainability.
“We are dedicated to transforming shrimp and marine fish farming by moving away from the commodity mindset and focusing on technologies that improve efficiencies, farming practices, and ultimately, the end product quality. Our commitment extends to making a positive environmental and societal impact, promoting sustainability, and ensuring an enduring future for the sector,” said Waty.
Looking forward to a bright future in the next 40 years
Looking ahead, INVE Aquaculture envisions a promising future for the aquaculture industry, characterized by visionary thinking and commitment to sustainable progress. One of the cornerstones of this vision is the growing emphasis on local production with small-scale, land-based aquaculture operations bringing food production closer to communities. This shift not only fosters resilience but also aligns with environmental stewardship by reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance seafood transportation.
INVE specialists also anticipate a growing diversification of farmed species, which will alleviate the pressure on commonly cultivated varieties such as salmon and shrimp. “Innovative sustainable practices, such as the widespread adoption of RAS systems and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, will enable more efficient seafood production with a smaller environmental impact,” INVE said.
“Integrating artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics into hatchery and farm operations will initiate an era of precision farming. At the same time, the industry needs to remain acutely aware of the challenges posed by climate change, resource constraints, and evolving regulations. INVE firmly believes that adaptability and responsible practices are the guiding principles that will ensure aquaculture’s enduring success and sustainable growth over the next 40 years,” the company said.