Sustainable Fisheries & Aquaculture
The oceans provide a significant amount of protein to the human diet. Yet, unsustainable practices as well as global pollution threaten this precious resource. The ocean is the basis of life on earth and tipping points in the ocean will impact not just food for humanity, but the entire global ecosystem.
Figure 2: Marine Food Pyramid (Source: National Geographic)
Figure 3: Marine Food Pyramid Equivalent Pounds (Source: National Geographic)
Figure 4: Marine Food Catch (Source: National Geographic)
Figure 5: Marine Food Consumption (Source: National Geographic)
Figure 6: Marine food sustainability: seafood to avoid (Source: National Geographic)
Figure 7: Marine food sustainability: good seafood (Source: National Geographic)
Figure 8: Marine food sustainability: most sustainable seafood (Source: National Geographic)
Mariculture – Kampachi Farms Growing Sustainable Seafood in the Open Ocean
Kampachi Farms was founded in 2011 by Neil Sims and Michael Bullock, former executives of the pioneering Hawaiian open ocean aquaculture company Kona Blue Water Farms, with the goal of continuing the innovative research that was ongoing at KBWF and leveraging scientific discoveries to advance commercial Kampachi production.
In addition to continuing and building upon the research programs initiated by KBWF at our Kona, HI research facility, planning is underway for a new commercial growut site in Bahia de La Paz, MX. This site will allow efficient, scalable, commercial production of high-value sashimi-grade Kampachi in close proximity to the product’s primary markets.
Kampachi Farms remains committed to advancing the cause of safe, responsible and sustainable mariculture in the U.S.A. Having sucessfully conducted the first-ever trial of open-ocean aquaculture in U.S. Federal Waters with the Velella Project, Kampachi Farms aims to further develop offshore technologies that will facilitate the expansion of responsible mariculture in the U.S. and globally, such as deepwater mooring and farmsite automation capabilities. Ongoing research into alternative feeds is focused on reducing mariculture’s reliance on wild-caught fishmeal and fish oil, replacing them with more sustainable American-grown agricultural products.
The Kampachi Farms team firmly believes in the necessity of developing a safe, responsible, and sustinable mariculture industry as an alternative to rampant overfishing and a $10 Billion domestic seafood trade deficit. By employing a combination of industry experience and innovation, Kampachi Farms will show the world that it is possible to responsibly grow delicious, healthy, high quality fish in the open ocean — right where they belong.
Flies as Fish Food
Drew is an ardent capitalist but is also very conscious of the state of the planet and the crisis humanity is facing. He believes that capitalism has been a large contributor to the world’s problems but for the same reason, it also has the power to contribute to a significant part of the solution. Drew doesn’t just talk, he walks the talk. Drew’s various enterprises are ingenuous – they are based on ideas so simple that you wish you would have thought of.
Take his company, the inconspicious sounding AgriProtein, whose name gives no indication of the unique product it is producing.
Currently, the industrial farming of chickens, pigs and fish all rely on protein sourced from land-based soy plantations and marine fishmeal. Drew says: “Plant-based proteins are less effective in feeds than fishmeal, and are increasingly expensive to produce as they consume large quantities of land, water and diesel in their production. While 30% of all marine caught fish (facing rapidly declining stock levels) is used in animal feed preparations – with aquaculture operations typically requiring up to 2kg of marine-caught fish to produce 1kg of farmed fish – of which we eat only 25%.”
Drew wondered if there were a more sustainable solution and the answer he came up was “yes”. Fly larvae are a natural food of chickens in the wild and fish in streams. Their nutritional composition is as good as that of fishmeal and better than Soya. As a natural food it has excellent take on and digestability properties. Drew hit upon the idea of growing maggots and processing them into food for fish and chickens. The fact that most excited Drew was the fact that a single female fly will lay 750 eggs in under a week, which will hatch into larvae which grow in weight over 400 times in just a few days. In effect, fly larvae are amongst natures most efficient protein producers.
Using fly larvae fed on abundant waste nutrient sources, AgriProtein has developed and tested a new large scale and sustainable source of protein based upon principles of cradle-to-cradle and bimimicry design. The bioconversion process, takes ‘free’ waste materials, and generates a valuable commodity.
At public talks, Drew tells the story of Ghengis Khan to illustrate the ancient knowledge of the value of flies. Khan, the warrior who conquered many lands in Asia recognized the value of fly larvae for the treatment of battle wounds. Fly larvae secrete a biological agent that is amongst the most effective sterilizing agents known. Larvae secrete this substance to keep their competitors, bacteria at bay and have more food for itself. Ghengis Khan recognized this and towed a buggy of rotting maggot-infested meat into battle. When his soldiers were wounded, maggots were placed on the wound and it would consume the dead flesh, leaving the live flesh to heal.
“These current protein sources are limited and the increasing demand for animal feed and their exploitation has devastating effects on the environment.” says Drew. AgriProtein is based on a typical biomimcry approach which solves mutliple problems at once. It uses existing abattoir waste products to feed fly eggs as they grow into larvae, which are then harvested and dried into AgriProtein’s product called Magmeal.
AgriProtein’s pilot plant and machinery, located in Stellebosch, South Africa are modular in design enabling plants to be built to suit each location. Each production line can produce up to ten tonnes of larvae protein per day.
Drew says that “Magmeal has an equivalent nutritional composition to fishmeal and better than soy. Magmeal contains nine essential amino acids with higher cystine and similar levels of lysine, methonine, threonine and tryptophane as marine fishmeal,” AgriProtein is getting many interested inquiries from all around the world.