Taste of BC Aquafarms, who operates a land based salmon farm in Nanaimo, has been named one of the finalists for the International Fish 2.0 Business Competition.
As finalists they will now compete for over $180,000 in cash prizes to be awarded at the finals event which will be held at Stanford University on November 10-11.
Fish 2.0 is a global business competition that connects sustainable fishing and aquaculture businesses with potential investors, offering participating businesses access to mentors, business guidance, and network connections, as well as cash prizes.
Taste of BC president Steve Atkinson says they were surprised and pleased to be nominated.
“It is very rewarding to be acknowledged as one of the most promising businesses in the world that has the potential to make a positive impact in advancing sustainable aquaculture practices, says Atkinson. “We believe that our farm has the potential to introduce a whole new way of doing aquaculture; one that is fully sustainable, environmentally friendly and yet also a good business. We have developed a model for a family farm size aquaculture operation that we hope will become a standard which many will follow”.
Some 170 businesses from around the world entered the competition, from that 17 were named as finalists with an additional 20 named runners up. The group is notably international: 17 are based in the United States, 2 with operations in Chile; six from Canada; 4 from Latin America; five operate in the South Pacific; two are based in Europe; and 3 are in Southeast Asia.
Taste of BC grows “Little Cedar Falls” brand of Steelhead Salmon which is now available regularly in local supermarkets like Quality Foods. The steelhead are grown completely on land, without the use of chemical therapeutants, antibiotics, hormones or steroids. The farming operation is completely contained and has no off site environmental impacts. They are the first Recirculating Aquaculture System to successfully grow salmon on land and send fish to market on a regular basis in Canada and one of the very first in the world.
“The diversity and breadth of the finalists shows that innovation in seafood is growing all over the world,” says Monica Jain, Fish 2.0 founder and executive director. “We are especially excited to see sustainability and innovation taking root in the market where the fish are coming from, not just where they are consumed, and to see change happening through the supply chain.”