Today, 31.5 million tonnes of forage fish are captured mainly to feed these carnivorous fish. Some of these forage fish are destined to be pig feed, but the vast majority are still going towards feeding fish. This practice of catching wild forage fish to feed captive aquaculture fish has led to a cascade of problems. First, the overfishing of these fish has put tremendous strain on their global populations. These forage fish are the main food source of wild carnivorous fish, and the decline in forage fish population has put additional stress on these bigger fish, which in turn, ripples up the food chain, leading towards lower carnivorous fish populations like tuna.
In order for aquaculture to be truly sustainable, fish farmers must have an alternative to using forage fish.
That company is Two X Sea. Together with a partnering restaurant and fish farm, the company worked in the lab to mix red algae, pistachio, flax, and corn, along with some other ingredients and produce the world's first commercially available vegetarian fish pellet.
So far, the company has been doing very well. Chefs who once disdained farmed fish have returned to including it in their menus simply because of this diet change. One chef in San Francisco reported that the fish fed with Two X Sea fish food didn't even have that "fishy" smell he had learned to associate with farmed fish.
Like many companies targeting sustainability, Two X Sea is focusing on serving the upscale/luxury niche first as their feed is still more expensive than that derived from forage fish. But the economics all point in the right direction. As they bulk up, Two X Sea's costs will likely go down, at the same time as the cost of forage fish goes up. The latter is already happening, with the price for a ton of forage fish quadrupling since 2000.
Bloomberg News did a great video on Two X Sea. Check it out below:
What You Can Do: