Chinese aquafeed company wins F3 fish-free challenge
Chinese feed giant Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. has won the F3 fish-free challenge for their tilapia feed, picking up a prize of USD 200,100 (EUR 169,981) on 4 October at the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2017 conference held in Dublin, Ireland.
F3, set up in 2015 by HeroX, challenged feed producers to come up with alternative sources of primary protein for use in aquaculture, and to sell at least 100,000 metric tons of feed within two years, without using marine ingredients.
The aim of the challenge was to make fish feed more sustainable and reduce the depletion of forage fish in the oceans.
Eight companies qualified to take part in the challenge, including TwoXSea, Star Milion Co., Alltech, TerraVia, AgriProtein, and Abagold.
Presenting the prize, Kevin Fitzsimmons from Arizona University and the F3 challenge, said that all the companies had exceeded their expectations.
“Together they have created 120,000 metric tons of fish-free feed and enabled 120 million forage fish to remain in the ocean,” he said.
A delighted Chen Yuqi of Guangdong Evergreen accepted the prize, and said that his company had been on a long journey to investigate fish free feed.
“We started looking at this in 2007 when economics forced us into it because Peruvian fishmeal was becoming very expensive,” he said.
Amongst a host of congratulatory messages was a video from Henry Paulson, former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, who praised the contestants for “working so hard to find viable solutions for fish free feed,” and a tweet from the DiCaprio Foundation congratulating the F3 Challenge's efforts to make the world a better place.
Acknowledging the success of the competition, Fitzsimmons announced a new challenge, a USD 100,000 (EUR 85,250) prize for an alternative to fish oil.
“Innovation doesn’t stop here,” he said. “Omega 3 fatty acids are a key ingredient in fish feed, and we will reward the company who can develop and sell the most fish-free substitute over the next two years.”