Aqua-Spark investments aim to stop plunder of sea life

January 22, 2015
An investment fund is pumping $4 million into two companies focused on smart farming of seafood

An investment fund aimed at prospering while preventing overfishing from wiping out ocean life announced on Thursday it is pumping $4 million into two companies focused on smart farming of seafood.

Aqua-Spark said that US-based biotechnology Calysta and Chicoa Fish Farm in Mozambique, Africa, will be the fund's first investments since launching in late 2013.

"We've spent the last many months examining technologies, businesses and farms around the world that have the potential to shift the aquaculture landscape," Aqua-Spark co-founders Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz said in a release.

"Calysta and Chicoa have stood out as game-changing business ventures."

They touted Calysta for having a transformative way of using methane-eating microbes to make protein feed for and hailed Chicoa as a fish-farm operation that could serve as a model across the African continent.

Aqua-Spark valued the overall investment at $4 million but did not disclose how the money was divvied.

"We understand that to truly lead and change our industry, we must develop every link - from fish to consumer," Chicoa co-founders Damien Legros, Gerry McCollum, and Erik Rotsaert said in a release.

"This is only the beginning of our journey, and we're thrilled to see how we can change the face of aquaculture while making an impact on local economies."

Aqua-Spark has raised $10 million since its launch, and has set a goal of growing to be a $400 million fund by 2025.

The fund is based on a belief that investors can make money while promoting healthy oceans and feeding the world by backing promising technologies and business models devoted to sustainable fish farming.

Aqua-Spark cited scientific predictions that oceans could be rendered lifeless if rampant exploitation of sea life isn't prevented. Meanwhile, the global populations appetite for fish is project to double in coming decades.

"Aqua-Spark's mission is to sustainably grow the industry, and its investment in Calysta - a single cell protein alternative for - marks an exciting turning point," said Aaron McNevin of the World Wildlife Fund.

"It means the potential to feed billions, and protect dwindling ocean species, while using smarter and fewer resources."

Explore further: Aqua-Spark fund dives into fish farming future

Related Stories

Genetically tracking farmed fish escaping into the wild

August 20, 2014

European sea product consumption is on the rise. With overfishing being a threat to the natural balance of the ocean, the alternative is to turn to aquaculture, the industrial production of fish and seafood. But this raises ...

Are there enough fish to go around?

October 14, 2014

Scientists from the University of York have released a report highlighting the gap between declining wild fish supplies and healthy eating advice recommending more seafood.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.