Ocean seaweed business attracts green investors
AN Indian business aiming to harvest seaweed from artificial islands in deep ocean waters has attracted finance from AquaSpark, a fund set up to invest in sustainable aquaculture.
The investment from Aqua-Spark is part of a $9m (£6.5m) funding round for Sea6 Energy, which started as a spin-out from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and is now headquartered in Bangalore. Sea6’s SeaCombine is a fully mechanized cultivation system that can simultaneously harvest and replant seaweed in deep ocean waters, enabling cost competitive production at scale.
The system means less labour is required to harvest and seed seaweed, and it can do this directly on the sea. In addition, the SeaCombine allows farming in deeper and rougher waters than traditional methods would allow.
Sea6 has also developed proprietary processing technologies to convert fresh seaweed into novel products for agriculture, animal health, food ingredients, bioplastics and renewable chemicals.
Aqua-Spark is the first investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture. It is the lead investor in Sea6’s $9M Series B round, alongside co-investor, Singaporebased Silverstrand Capital.
GRIEG Seafood is being forced to cull around a million salmon and postpone its first transfer for almost a year after discovering a single case of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) at its farms in Newfoundland.
The company said the decision is being taken as a precautionary measure in a bid to reduce risk. It intends to develop salmon farming operations in Placentia Bay “gradually and responsibly”.
The discovery of suspected
ISA in just one fish followed a routine sampling that was due to be launched from its Marystown facility earlier this summer. A further 295 samples were collected and analysed by the Newfoundland veterinary authorities and all gave negative results. No ISA was found.
The Grieg statement continued: “While it would be possible to transfer the fish to sea under restrictions, Grieg Seafood Newfoundland has decided to apply the precautionary approach and not transfer fish to sea... almost one million fish that were scheduled for sea transfer this summer, unfortunately will be culled.
“All of these fish are in the same RAS [recirculating aquaculture system] as the one fish with the detection, and the company would not have been able to maintain its fish health and welfare standard in sea should the virus exist in this fish group.”
The company said it now plans to carry out a thorough review to find out why ISA was detected and would also take measures to avoid similar incidents in the future.
Knut Skeidsvoll, Managing Director of Grieg Seafood Newfoundland, said: “We have said from the beginning that we will develop our farming operations in Placentia Bay gradually, responsibly and sustainably. As such, we believe it is right to apply the precautionary approach in this situation and postpone the transfer to sea to the spring of 2022.
“Even though none of the additional 295 samples detected any virus, we do not want to risk introducing ISA into the environment and possibly farm fish in the sea without optimal conditions for fish health and welfare.”