The old cliche which says "There are plenty more fish in the sea" - is actually no longer that true, in our day and age.
The growing consumption of fish, in the last several decades, has led to a global trend of overfishing, and depletion of marine resources, due to the ever-growing human need for protein sources.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that by 2050 the global population will reach 10 billion people, thus increasing food consumption by 12%, compared to 2000.
The population growth, in developing countries in particular, also means an urbanization process, a middle-class growth - and related lifestyle and diet trends, which increase the demand for healthier food, directly increasing the demand for fish.
Fish has become a significant contributor to the mitigation of the global food crisis: in a world of diminishing land and water resources, it provides healthy and accessible food that requires less resources than any other farmed animal. It serves as the only animal protein source for over a billion people worldwide, and provides 20% of all protein to an additional 3 billion people.
In fact, fish consumption has increased significantly in the last few decades reaching over 20Kg per capita in 2020.
This growing consumption and demand for fish, and the trends of global overfishing and depletion of marine sources, have fueled an immense growth of the aquaculture industry (meaning, farmed fish).
As the graph below shows, the capture of fish from the seas remained steady for the last 30 years while Aquaculture kept growing, and is now providing about 50% of all fish consumed.
Yet, despite the immense growth of the aquaculture industry, it is faced with a critical challenge – finding ways to sustainably meet this ever-growing demand.
Now, AquiNovo’s solution finally allows the production of higher farmed fish yield, with less resources.
AquiNovo’s technology is based on innovative, non-GMO, non-hormonal feed additives designed to promote fish growth capacity and decrease feed utilization rate.
This unique solution allows for significant improvement in both growth and feed utilization, thanks to targeted, synthetic, bioactive and biodegradable short peptides that compete with natural endogenous peptides, resulting in higher nutrient absorption in the intestine.
This allows for the same quantity of feed to be converted into more biomass, therefore increasing growth performance, while decreasing Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR). It also contributes to higher fillet rate (initial results) and better size distribution (more big fish and less small fish).
AquiNovo’s feed additives are peptides in the form of a powder that will be sold to fish feed companies to be mixed with all other feed ingredients in the process of feed manufacturing. These peptides will be manufactured using an innovative, patent protected, improvement of the most common method used, solid phase synthesis. It was licensed from the Hebrew University and further developed by the company - now at a scale up phase - to larger production volumes. The improved method allows faster and cheaper production of large peptide amounts. In addition, it will lower fish farm carbon footprint.
The company’s most advanced product under development targets tilapia, the second most common farmed fish consumed by humans, projected to be launched in 2023. Additional products are being developed for other aquatic species.
The company’s technology was proven in tilapia in mid (hundreds of fish per experiment) and large-scale studies (thousands of fish per experiment) as part of an extensive R&D program conducted in Israel and Asia for the last several years. These trials successfully proved the tech's significant and consistent improvement of fish growth and FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio, the kg amount of feed required to generate a kg of fish) as well as environmental and safety aspects: no effect on fish health, no residues in fish and no accumulation in water. Moreover, it also demonstrated a beneficial fish size distribution: larger number of big fish and smaller number of small fish, allowing farmers to save inputs and reduce risks by gradual harvesting. In addition, initial results also demonstrated higher fillet rate.
After having already demonstrated efficacy and safety the company is now mapping local demands and performing gap analysis, in preparation of regulatory files in accordance to the European guidelines. The files will then undergo further adaptations in specific territories, based on the mapping data.
Environmental and Social Benefits
Beyond the immense business opportunity, AquiNovo’s technology has a clear positive sustainability, environmental and social impact. It enables farmers to generate more fish yield with less feed, using the same land and water resources.
AquiNovo’s technology promotes achievement of several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGD’s) including preserving fish population in the sea (SDG 14), providing food security and reducing hunger and poverty (SGD’s 1 and 2) as well as reducing fish farm carbon footprint, as feed is the main component of total footprint (SDG 13). In addition, using our improved peptide production method will contribute to responsible production (SDG 12).
In summary, AquiNovo’s technology allows a significant reduction in farm’s carbon emissions, easing the great pressure on dwindling aquatic resources and marine wildlife while showing no adverse effect on animals’ health and no accumulation in fish and water.