Kona Blue founder receives award
Kona Blue Water Farms on Monday announced Neil Sims, co-founder and VP of research, was awarded the Illinois Soybean Association’s (ISA) Excellence in Market Development Award.
Sims, who is also the president of the Ocean Stewards Institute, received the award for advocating the growth of open ocean aquaculture, or mariculture, and for innovative use of soy products in aquaculture feeds.
Soybean meal currently comprises about 20 percent of the Kona Kampachi diet. The company has also been running research trials that suggest soy protein concentrates may allow it to replace up to 40 percent of the marine-sourced protein in the diet, and it is also looking into replacing more of the fish oil with soy oil.
"The offshore operation in Kona has no measurable local environmental impacts beyond the immediate cage area," said Sims, "but we need to also focus on the potential global impacts. Responsible mariculture is already some 60 times more efficient in its use of marine baitfish resources than targeting the top of the wild food chain, such as for salmon or swordfish. Increasing the use of soy proteins and oils can reduce our reliance on wild fishery resources so that we can further soften our footprint on the seas."