10 Jul 2020 -WEF - 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.”