Half of the finalists and runners-up in the Fish 2.0 competition for sustainable seafood businesses are receiving high-value prizes providing invaluable connections, market insights, and training and consulting on improving their operations. The Open Door Prize sponsors and the Fish 2.0 advisory board announced the awards.
Fish 2.0 connects innovative fishing and aquaculture businesses with investors seeking seafood-sector opportunities that will produce financial, environmental and social returns. The competition culminated in the Fish 2.0 Competition Finals & Sustainable Seafood Innovation Forum, held November 10–11 at Stanford University, where six finalists received cash awards. Finalists and runners-up were eligible for the Open Door Prizes, which give winners crucial access to high-level buyers, market analysts and business advisors, and for professional service awards with a total value of $195,000.
The Fish 2.0 finalists overall showed significant potential and revealed how diverse the seafood sector is, said Manuel Gonzalez, managing director and head of the western region at Rabobank. “We particularly liked the global aspect of the contestants, the social impact and their commitment to a sustainable seafood industry.”
Open Door Prize winners
Twelve promising seafood companies from around the world will receive eight Open Door Prizes.
The Costco prize, a half-day meeting and consultation with Costco fresh and frozen foods buyers, went to The Crab Company (Fiji), an aquaculture venture that conserves mangrove areas while growing crab. “Crab is a high-end seafood that fits well with our merchandising, and aquaculture crab fits well with our long-term sustainable sourcing strategy,” said Ken Kimble, assistant general merchandising manager at Costco. “Costco’s seafood sales are very strong and we know aquaculture will have a growing role.”
A Missouri-based aquaculture company, Quixotic Farming, won the Fish Vet Group prize, a one-day training session in aquatic health management at Fish Vet Group’s labs in Portland, Maine. “As Quixotic Farming continues to expand production, our experience is that this will be met with increasing challenge to the welfare of the animals,” said Jason Collins, regional sales and technical manager at Fish Vet Group. “Fish Vet Group has the veterinary expertise in tilapia, diagnostic capability and proactive vision to partner with Quixotic in navigating these challenges as they evolve, and to help drive the sustainable growth of their operation.”
Food System 6, a new California-based accelerator for for-profit and nonprofit food tech entrepreneurs, awarded one seat in its six-month training program to Blue Farms Hawaii, an early stage aquaponics company. “Blue Farms Hawaii is a great fit with our focus on sustainability, health and equity,” said FS6 co-founder Renske Lynde. “FS6 is excited to help Blue Farms Hawaii expand the reach of their technology to further their impact in creating our next food system.”
The High Liner Foods prize, a half-day meeting with the company’s global procurement vice president or a designated colleague, went to Mexico’s SmartFish, which supplies fish caught by Baja co-ops. The High Liner procurement team will provide perspective on the requirements of seafood buyers in North America so that SmartFish can align its business to compete effectively.
IntraFish awarded three passes to the IntraFish Seafood Investor Forum in spring 2016 to Florida-based Healthy Earth Cortez, which creates value-added products from wild-caught gray striped mullet; California-based Pelagic Data Systems, a traceability technology company; and Canada-based SabrTech, whose RiverBox system converts aquaculture waste into an algae-based feed. “We want to foster the development of seafood companies small and large by bringing them together with top-tier investors eager to put their money into the sector,” said Drew Cherry, editorial director at IntraFish Media. “The three winners have shown not only ingenuity, but also a readiness to bring their concepts to market with the right partner.”
The Pentair prize, free admission for five Fish 2.0 finalists to a four-day Aquaponics Technology and Design workshop or a three-day Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Technology workshop, went to land-based salmon grower Taste of BC; Blue Farms Hawaii; SabrTech; Acadia Harvest, a land-based producer of premium fish based in Maine; and Pacific Ocean Culture of Fiji, a fledgling multispecies hatchery.
“We believe that we will be providing essential and detailed technical information at a critical time in the development of each of these five companies,” said Tom Losordo, principal scientist and chief engineer for Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems. “We have often heard participants say, ‘If only I had heard this earlier in the development of my system, I would have saved myself a lot of money and heartache.’ The timing is right for each of these young companies.”
Love the Wild, a Colorado-based company that sells traceable sustainable fish packaged with gourmet sauces, won the Rabobank prize, a half-day consultation with Rabobank’s North American seafood lending team and a consultation with a Rabobank global seafood analyst. “People do not consume more seafood in the U.S. because they do not cook it at home, and Love the Wild seeks to eliminate the reasons why that happens,” said Gonzalez. “Additionally, the founders are impressive, knowledgeable and tenacious.”
Wabel, a European B2B marketplace designed to facilitate connections between private-label retailers and global suppliers of fresh and frozen food products, awarded its prize to the U.K.-based aquaponics company GrowUp Urban Farms. “Growing numbers of consumers are making environmentally conscious purchasing decisions, and to be successful, retailers need to offer sustainable products,” said Pierre Asseo, co-founder and CEO of Wabel. “GrowUp Urban Farms has a great team and a highly scalable, highly sustainable approach that’s completely in line with both customers’ and retailers’ expectations.”
The Wabel Retail Open Door Prize includes an invitation to one Wabel Summit in 2016; at least eight prequalified face-to-face meetings with seafood buyers from Europe’s largest retailers, such as Carrefour, Tesco, Auchan, Kaufland, Metro and Casino; a keynote presentation to European retail decision makers; and a one-year silver subscription to the Wabel Online Club.
Professional service awards
The Fish 2.0 advisory board opted to use the professional service awards in two ways. Three companies, still to be named, will receive advice on their deal structure and strategies to attract the right types of capital for their ventures. Five companies will receive assistance with growing their business: ARCAE of Costa Rica, which markets locally caught sustainable fish; Pelagic Data Systems; SmartFish Mexico; the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust, which buys and leases quota to keep local fisheries viable; and ALFA Fishing of Vanuatu, which generates income for rural youth and urban women through supplying fresh seafood to both high-end restaurants and low-income households.
ALFA Fishing will also receive one of the Pacific Islands professional service awards, along with The Crab Company of Fiji and PAFCO Fiji, a tuna processing plant.
“The prizes will help businesses build their capacity in areas that have the potential to be catalytic,” said Leigh Moran, senior officer, strategic initiatives at the Calvert Foundation and a Fish 2.0 advisory board member. “From attracting investors with the appropriate capital, to identifying and focusing on strategic customer segments, to receiving expert advice for technical upgrades to plant and equipment, these prizes are very intentional and will be a springboard to the next stage of success for the winning businesses.”
She added that for the Pacific Island entrepreneurs, “These awards are an important validation of both their quality and their potential. Supporting these businesses, helping them demonstrate what’s possible, is critical to creating a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.”
Cherry summed up the finalists’ promise: “The seafood industry is growing at an incredible pace, and more than anything, innovation and imagination are needed to help it grow in the right way, from both a sustainability point of view and a financial one,” he said. “The Fish 2.0 finalists clearly had to overcome a lot of hurdles and endure a lot of scrutiny of their ideas—that shows they know what they are doing, are passionate about it, and, maybe most important, can articulate its value.”
About Fish 2.0
The Fish 2.0 business competition builds the knowledge and connections needed to increase investment in the sustainable seafood sector. Competitors improve their business models and learn how to approach investors, and investors gain early access to new deals and learn how sustainable seafood can help build their portfolios. This year, 170 businesses from around the world competed for over $180,000 in prizes, and 37 finalists presented their ideas to investors.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .