The company said it will develop products first for tilapia, a high-demand market with an expected 8.5 million tons farmed at year of launch, and then salmon, a high-value market with an expected 6.4 million tons farmed at launch.
The technology is based on an invention of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which accelerates growth rate in fish by inhibiting reproduction. Inhibiting the fish’s reproductive development leaves the fish with more energy for growth, the researchers said.
AquiNovo CEO Nissim Chen said the technology to make fish grow faster reduces time-to-market and increases the efficiency of fish production. It likewise offers potential for more growth cycles and, therefore, increase yield and revenues, he noted.
The proprietary materials will be integrated into fish feed and fed to fish using standard feeding procedures. AquiNovo plans to sell the proprietary materials to feed manufacturers that will provide fish farms with ready-to-use feed, allowing it to also leverage on feed companies’ marketing channels. The company sees the use of existing infrastructure in deploying the technology as a sustainable solution to increasing fish yields and meeting growing demand for fish protein.
It added that it also has the potential to prevent reproduction of escapees in the wild and eliminate or reduce the use of male hormones in tilapia farms.