BlueNalu, working to produce seafood from cells, expands in San Diego

Published on
April 23, 2019

San Diego, California, U.S.A.-based cellular aquaculture company BlueNalu has expanded operations and moved to a larger research facility as it begins commercialization of its first products.

BlueNalu’s new 6,000 square-foot facility is located in the Sorrento Valley section of San Diego. The company has 12 full-time employees in addition to a number of contracted employees. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility took place on 22 April, World Earth Day, with several members of the U.S. congress among the guests in attendance. 

BlueNalu, which creates seafood products from fish cells, hopes to develop products from finfish, crustaceans, and shellfish. The company says that its cell-based food is “practically indistinguishable from the natural products.”

“We plan to reduce fishery pressure, displace the need for imports, create jobs, and enhance food security in each country in which we go to market, in a way that is healthy for people, humane for sea life, and sustainable for our planet,” BlueNalu President and CEE Lou Cooperhouse said in a press release. “We are thrilled to be established and growing this important business in San Diego, and to be one step closer to our goal of creating a much more stable seafood supply chain."

The company’s stated mission is to produce “real seafood products directly from fish cells, that are as delicious and nutritious as products that have been grown conventionally, in a way that is healthy for people, humane for animals, and sustainable for our planet."

Cooperhouse said his company is developing seafood products that are familiar to consumers, have high per capita consumption, command premium pricing, and are under stress or challenged by environmental contamination, toxins, or pollutants. In an interview with SeafoodSource, he said the company's next steps include the design and engineering of a pilot and large-scale production facility, along with pilot testing of its bio-engineering processes.  

Cooperhouse and BlueNalu’s other founders, Chairman Chris Somogyi and Chief Technology Officer Chris Dammann, have each moved to San Diego, the company said. The city was chosen for “its access to highly qualified talent, vibrant BlueTech and biotech ecosystem, and its proud history of commercial fishing and seafood production.”

In addition to the move to new facility, BlueNalu recently announced its appointment of an advisory board of nine individuals with expertise in brand/business strategy, consumer insight and communications, nutrition and regulatory policy, technology and commercialization, and marine conservation and sustainability, according to the company.

Photo courtesy of BlueNalu

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

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