‘Water-forecasting’ and fish farms fed on waste: how innovation is driving the blue economy

fish farm

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Peter Beech, World Economic Forum writer


Using waste food to farm insects as fish food; and high-tech real-time water quality monitoring: innovations that could help change global aquaculture, were showcased at the World Economic Forum’s Virtual Ocean Dialogues 2020.

 

Two young entrepreneurs addressed a breakout session of the event called Harnessing the Power of Innovation to Achieve SDG14. Syrine Chaalala, co-founder of the French-Tunisian company nextProtein, and Charlotte Dupont, co-founder of the French company BiOceanOr, revealed the ideas that drove their rapidly accelerating startups.

Chalaala’s nextProtein uses food waste to mass-produce insect protein to feed farmed fish in place of fishmeal – the production of which, often from corporate fisheries’ by-catch, can lead to the depletion of ecosystems and the collapse of local fisheries. As our demand for farmed fish is growing 8% a year, her innovation could play a vital role in reducing the knock-on impact of aquaculture on the ocean.

She said that farming insects requires a fraction of the space as animal feed production – 100 square metres of space can produce as much protein as 100 hectares of soy field.

“Because we wanted to have maximum impact, we wanted to provide solutions to other problems,” said Chalaala, naming food waste and land scarcity as two key issues her business tackles. “Here, we can convert 20 kilos of food waste into 1 kilo of product.”

Chalaala’s nextProtein
Fly fishing.
Image: nextProtein

The method uses vertical farming, little energy and almost no water – testament, said session host Christian Lim of Blue Oceans Partners, to the efficiency of the insects at thriving on low input. The insect nextProtein uses is the Black Soldier Fly, selected due to its high-yield quality, and the ease of processing it into powder, oil and fertilizer. Her business is aiming to produce 100,000 tonnes of insect protein annually by 2025 – or around 10% of the insect meal market.

Meanwhile Charlotte Dupont and her colleagues at BiOceanOr have developed what they term “the first underwater weather station for real-time monitoring of water quality”. One of its many applications is for fish farmers who aren’t yet monitoring their water quality in real time.

She painted a picture of an industry that is only reluctantly changing, with water quality largely still monitored by hand. Since this process is time-consuming and arduous, it’s generally done only once a day. But once the firm’s underwater ‘weather-stations’ are installed, farmers can get a moment-by-moment grasp on conditions for their stock.

“Our first customer called us a few days later to tell us our tool wasn’t working – the oxygen levels couldn’t be so low,” she said. But the equipment was fine: the unprecedented readings had thrown him. He was used to taking his readings only once a day, in the late morning, and had no idea how low oxygen levels could get overnight.

BiOceanOr's AquaREAL system
BiOceanOr’s AquaREAL system
Image: BiOceanOr

“There are a lot of aquaculturists who don’t realize right now the power of real-time monitoring,” said Dupont. “It’s a knowledge that they transmit from generation to generation, like agriculture a century ago: ‘I know it because my father knows it’. They think there’s nothing you can learn from tools, but just as in agriculture, there’s a lot you can learn.”

“I think data will be really central in the future,” said Dupont, predicting a future where people subscribe to the water forecast just as today they subscribe to a weather forecast.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about the ocean?

Our oceans cover 70% of the world’s surface and account for 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. We can’t have a healthy future without healthy oceans – but they’re more vulnerable than ever because of climate change and pollution.

Tackling the grave threats to our oceans means working with leaders across sectors, from business to government to academia.

The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute, convenes the Friends of Ocean Action, a coalition of leaders working together to protect the seas. From a programme with the Indonesian government to cut plastic waste entering the sea to a global plan to track illegal fishing, the Friends are pushing for new solutions.

Climate change is an inextricable part of the threat to our oceans, with rising temperatures and acidification disrupting fragile ecosystems. The Forum runs a number of initiatives to support the shift to a low-carbon economy, including hosting the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, who have cut emissions in their companies by 9%.

Is your organisation interested in working with the World Economic Forum? Find out more here.

“With sensitive ecosystems like reefs and coastal systems, people will be able to subscribe to the data and see what is going on,” she said. These water-quality forecasts will play a vital role in protecting ocean health.

Their session provided a short but telling insight into two crucial innovations in aquaculture as we set a course for a sustainable blue economy in the post-COVID-19 era. For more from the Virtual Ocean Dialogues 2020, you can access the whole event here.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU citizens disenchanted with Economic and Monetary Union over rising poverty and high unemployment

Living to 100: why we should plan for more sushi, chocolate and work

This South Korean company has built a 5G search and rescue airship

Deep science: what it is, and how it will shape our future

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

COVID-19: Single market must emerge stronger from the crisis, say MEPs

Africa Forum aims to boost business, reduce costs, help countries trade out of poverty

Lessons from the Global Entrepreneurship Index

Over 820 million people suffering from hunger; new UN report reveals stubborn realities of ‘immense’ global challenge

More Germans are swapping planes for trains because of climate worries

Towards a European Republic

Apple® logo (copyright: Apple)

Apple takes further step into music: EU Regulators formally approve its planned Shazam acquisition

Over 1 million health consultations provided in Yemen in 2019: UN migration agency

Women lose most from the climate crisis. How can we empower them?

EU budget deal struck with Parliament negotiators

More than just a phone: mobile’s impact on sustainable development

Member States and Commission to work together to boost artificial intelligence “made in Europe”

Deeper reforms in Germany will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

Six ways to cut through the Middle East’s geopolitical fog

Black Lives Matter – for Pakistan’s Sheedi community too

In rural Bangladesh, solar power is changing lives

The hidden risk of virtual reality – and what to do about it

Here’s what keeps CEOs awake at night (and why it might be bad news for your next job)

‘Growing alarm’ over Fall Armyworm advance, with cash crops ‘under attack’ across Asia

State aid: Commission approves €30 billion French subordinated loan scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak

‘Complacency’ a factor in stagnating global vaccination rates, warn UN health chiefs

EU: Centralised economic governance and bank supervision may lead to new crisis

MEPs adopt new Fisheries Partnership with Morocco including Western Sahara

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

‘Stealing’ food from hungry Yemenis ‘must stop immediately’, says UN agency

Canada has created an Arctic conservation zone almost as big as Germany

Parliament to vote on new European Commission on 27 November

Our food system is no longer fit for the 21st century. Here are three ways to fix it

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

Climate change recognized as ‘threat multiplier’, UN Security Council debates its impact on peace

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

China-EU Trade and Economic Relations in Numbers

Brussels waits for the Germans to arrive

Protector or polluter? The impact of COVID-19 on the movement to end plastic waste

4 ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable

The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

Safer products: stepping up checks and inspections to protect consumers

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

Palm Oil: With Malaysia cracking down on production, what’s the alternative?

How health privatization increases health inequities

How smartphones can close the global skills gap for billions

Britain’s Brexit election is its most volatile in memory – and 3 other superlatives about the snap poll

A Sting Exclusive: “Asia-Pacific response to COVID-19 and climate emergency must build a resilient and sustainable future”, by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General

France fails again the exams. Kindly requested to sit in on Commission’s class

Trust in OECD governments back at pre-crisis levels as governments seek to be more open and engaged

Community Manager – 1289

European Defence Fund: €205 million to boost the EU’s strategic autonomy and industrial competitiveness

EU Trust Fund for Africa: new migration-related actions to protect vulnerable people and foster resilience of host communities in North of Africa

7 key challenges for the future of ASEAN – and how to solve them

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

UN food relief agency airlifts aid to DR Congo province hit by Ebola outbreak

My disability, my identity

The world is failing miserably on access to education. Here’s how to change course

Climate change is exacerbating hunger in some of the world’s poorest countries. And those most at risk are the least to blame

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Eco-warriors’ fight climate change in South Africa

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s