8 companies advance to the next round in fish-free feed challenge
Eight contestants from around the world are moving on in the F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge, still vying for the USD 200,000 (EUR 186,625) grand prize for developing the best fish-free feed for the aquaculture industry.
The remaining contenders hail from Thailand, Indonesia, China, South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States, and are now advancing to the first sales reporting stage of the multi-stage contest.
The F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge, which got its start back in November 2015, was incepted on the crowdfunding site HeroX in an effort to “encourage innovation of alternative ingredients for aquaculture fishfeeds, improve the industry's sustainability, and to reduce pressure on wild-caught fish to supply fishfeed components,” according to the challenge’s main description. All contestants have submitted a specimen of feed that they hope will qualify them for the next round. As of now, the feed specimens are being analyzed to guarantee that no fishmeals or fish oils were used in their making.
“While the global aquaculture industry has made strides to stretch the limited amount of fishmeal and fish oil to rear more fish and shrimp, there is a severe need to find alternatives to these marine products to feed aquaculture-raised fish,” said University of Arizona Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons, the former president of the World Aquaculture Society and lead spokesperson for the F3 Challenge, in a news release.
“Eventually we would like to see that fishmeal free seafood would be considered as sustainable and good for the environment as grass-fed beef or free-range poultry,” added Fitzsimmons.
The basic parameters of the challenge are as such: The first company to produce and sell 100,000 metric tons of fish and marine animal-free aquafeed will be awarded the more than USD 200,000 (EUR 186,625) cash prize to support their fish-free aquafeed business. Teams are expected to report their first quarterly sales figures in January 2017.
Some current contenders in the challenge operate their own mills and farms with multinational sales and hundreds of employees, while others are start-up farms and ingredient companies with a dozen or so employees, said F3 organizers. Feeds were submitted for a variety of species including shrimp, tilapia and trout.
The teams include the following:
- AgriProtein (Gibraltar), Abagold (South Africa) - Rainbow Trout
- Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. (China) - Tilapia, Carp, Dace
- Htoo Thit Co. (Myanmar), Biomin (Austria) - Tilapia/Carp
- JAPFA Feeds (Singapore/Indonesia) - Tilapia
- Oryza Organics (Pakistan) - Tilapia (x2)
- Ridley (Australia), Sureerath Prawns (Thailand) - Shrimp
- TomAlgae (Belgium) – Shrimp
- TwoXSea (U.S. California), Star Milling Co. (U.S. California), Alltech (U.S. Kentucky), TerraVia (U.S. California) - Trout
Sponsors for the contest include Monterey Bay Aquarium, New England Aquarium, University of Arizona and World Bank.