The Future of US Aquaculture – Innovasea and S2G Ventures

​​​​As the volume of seafood imports in North America continues to rise, how can we strengthen US aquaculture as a provider of locally produced, sustainable protein for consumers? What innovations in systems technology, feed and localised production will have the greatest impact?

The Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on March 8 features a dedicated track with in-depth analysis from aquaculture producers and investors on the future of US aquaculture and the benefits of bioengineering.

We spoke to two of our aquaculture panellists to hear their thoughts on the key trends and opportunities for the coming year.

What do you see as the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity for the aquaculture industry in 2021?

Larsen Mettler - S2G Ventures - Animal AgTech Innovation Summit Advisory Board
Larsen Mettler – S2G Ventures

Larsen Mettler, Managing Director, S2G VENTURES
2021 will be a year of adopting and refining technologies to improve operational efficiencies and reduce waste. Upfront capital costs for at-sea and land-based aquaculture continue to grow, so it is important to accelerate movement down the cost curve in a responsible manner with precision farming, sustainable feed alternatives and animal health solutions.

I think those two things are actually two sides of the same coin in the United States. We really need an open and honest discussion about aquaculture to overcome the longstanding and often ill-informed resistance to it. Once we do that, I think people will realize the myriad of opportunities and benefits aquaculture provides – including job creation to help bolster the economy, improved food security to protect us in the event of another global pandemic, and the ability to produce food for Americans and the world at large in a manner that is sustainable, resource efficient and environmentally responsible.

What importance do partnership and collaboration hold in advancing technology solutions in the aquaculture industry? Can you share an example or experience of this?

Larsen Mettler, Managing Director, S2G VENTURES
Collaboration and shared incentives across all stakeholders are essential to the establishment and adoption of transformative aquaculture technologies. Designing scalable solutions which can de-risk, improve and align the goals of producers, investors, government agencies, consumers and the environment will empower the entire industry.

David Kelly - Innovasea - Animal AgTech Innovation Summit
David Kelly – Innovasea

A great example of this is ReelData. ReelData is partnering with land-based operators to improve fish health, decrease feeding costs, reduce waste and provide data-driven risk management insights. They have been successful by coming to the table with an open mind, customizing their technology to fit the needs of producers and consumers, utilizing government and industry support, and seeking out advice from industry and investor experts.

Collaboration is one of Innovasea’s core values and it plays a key role in how we approach our business. Many of the technology-based solutions we’ve developed have germinated with an idea from a customer who says to us “It would be great if we could do X on our farm.” We invest heavily in R&D and we’ll take that idea to the R&D folks and ask them to come up with a solution to meet their needs. One recent example is our plankton monitoring solution that we introduced last fall, which helps farm operators track deadly algae blooms and makes it easier to protect their fish stocks from them. The solution was developed at the behest of one of our best customers.

Hear more from our experts during the dedicated Aquaculture track at the virtual Animal AgTech Innovation Summit.