Regional sea fish – from the tank to the table

In view of the major chal­lenges of envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­ti­on and cli­ma­te chan­ge, a road­map with the aim of a modern and a resour­ce-effi­ci­ent future is requi­red for the coming deca­des. The appro­pria­te con­cept for Euro­pe is sup­po­sed to be the Green Deal, the pur­po­se of which we have alre­a­dy explai­ned in the pre­vious blog post The „Green Deal“ as a new growth stra­tegy for Euro­pe.  With the SEAWATER Cube we are addres­sing two goals of the action plan: The from “Farm to fork” stra­tegy and the EU Bio­di­ver­si­ty Stra­tegy for 2030. In the fol­lo­wing, we pro­vi­de a detail­ed over­view of which goals the from “Farm to fork” stra­tegy includes and how our con­cept helps to achie­ve the­se goals.

The from „farm to fork“ strategy

On top of the agen­da of this stra­tegy is the secu­ring of a more sus­tainable food chain in the EU. Accor­ding to the EU, this stra­tegy „sets out the regu­la­to­ry and other mea­su­res nee­ded to crea­te more effi­ci­ent, cli­ma­te-smart sys­tems that deli­ver healt­hy food while enab­ling an appro­pria­te inco­me for EU far­mers and fisher­men.“ (EU Commission)

The following generally defined sub-goals and measures can be found:
  • Ensu­ring a sus­tainable and afforda­ble food supply
  • Com­ba­ting cli­ma­te change
  • Streng­thening envi­ron­men­tal protection
  • Con­ser­va­ti­on of biodiversity
  • Increase in the pro­por­ti­on of orga­nic farming
  • Fair inco­mes in the food chain

The con­tri­bu­ti­on of SEAWATER Cubes to the from “Farm to fork” stra­tegy can be mea­su­red on the basis of a lar­ge num­ber of spe­ci­fi­cal­ly desi­gned points:

Impro­ved ani­mal wel­fa­re: The maxi­mum sto­cking den­si­ty in the SEAWATER Cube is 65 kg / m³, around 35% below the limit of 100 kg / m³ from which nega­ti­ve effects on ani­mal wel­fa­re were repor­ted for the first time in the lite­ra­tu­re. Thanks to the tech­no­lo­gi­cal­ly advan­ced fil­ters, the spread of harmful bac­te­ria and patho­gens is also avo­ided. The ani­mals grow up in clear water and wit­hout stress. In this way they do not get sick and the use of medi­ci­ne and anti­bio­tics can be com­ple­te­ly avo­ided as well.

Opti­mi­zing food qua­li­ty: The pro­duc­tion of fish in a recir­cu­la­ting sys­tem is cha­rac­te­ri­zed by a high level of con­trol. Exter­nal harmful influen­ces on the ani­mals from micro­pla­s­tics, hea­vy oil or hea­vy metals are non-exis­tent due to the clo­sed natu­re of the sys­tem. The stress-free living con­di­ti­ons and the needs-based fee­ding of the ani­mals ensu­re sta­ble health and a high-qua­li­ty pro­duct (pro­te­in con­tent in slaugh­ter fish = 19.4%). Due to the clear water, the ani­mals also have no mol­dy after­tas­te and do not need to be put in a strip­ping pro­cess befo­re fishing. The labo­ra­to­ry asso­cia­ti­on LADR  is respon­si­ble for the food ana­ly­sis of our fish and con­firms its puri­ty in regu­lar analyzes.

Maxi­mi­ze fresh­ness, redu­ce food was­te: Maxi­mi­ze fresh­ness, redu­ce food was­te: SEAWATER Fish is grown local­ly and is the­r­e­fo­re available in clo­se pro­xi­mi­ty to the con­su­mer. It is fished as requi­red or only on request. This avo­ids rejects and unneces­sa­ry food was­te. In addi­ti­on, the fresh­ness is exten­ded. The shelf life of the fish from the SEAWATER Cube is two to three times lon­ger than con­ven­tio­nal goods – if stored cor­rect­ly up to 10 days.

Bet­ter sto­rage and envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly pack­a­ging: Our offer includes a sui­ta­ble pro­ces­sing con­tai­ner for the SEAWATER Cube, which is equip­ped with a cold store in addi­ti­on to equip­ment. This ensu­res unin­ter­rupt­ed and pro­fes­sio­nal sto­rage bet­ween fishing and mar­ke­ting. SEAWATER Fish is stored in reusable boxes made of food-safe pla­s­tic in the cold store and is deli­ver­ed in the same (ins­tead of sty­ro­foam boxes). At 0 ° C, the ani­mals lie on ice and are ide­al­ly coo­led (but not fro­zen). The sur­face is always kept moist by the melt water that runs off. In mar­ke­ting, we also work with envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly mate­ri­als and redu­ce the amount of pla­s­tic pack­a­ging by around 70%. The who­le fish are wrap­ped in bees­wax paper and han­ded over to the cus­to­mer. The paper is biode­gra­da­ble and can be dis­po­sed of on the com­pos­ter or in orga­nic waste.

Mini­mi­ze trans­port: In Cen­tral Euro­pe, the­re is a high demand for mari­ne fish, also dome­sti­cal­ly. This is often met by imports over long distances with a high CO2 foot­print. The pro­duc­tion of mari­ne fish in the SEAWATER Cube, which is inde­pen­dent of loca­ti­on and clo­se to the con­su­mer, can great­ly redu­ce such emis­si­ons. An exam­p­le illus­tra­tes this: Com­pared to import­ing fish from Nor­way to Paris (pla­ne, 1700 km, 13.5 kg CO2/kg fish), buy­ing fish from a local SEAWATER Cube (car, 20 km, 0.29 kg CO2/kg fish) can avo­id a full 97.9% of the emis­si­ons that would other­wi­se occur. (Cal­cu­la­ti­on sources: atmos­fair | arktik)

Crea­te con­su­mer awa­re­ness for pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses: At SEAWATER we live trans­pa­ren­cy and open­ness. Every inte­res­ted par­ty or cus­to­mer is given the oppor­tu­ni­ty to visit the faci­li­ty and con­vin­ce them­sel­ves about the opti­mal con­di­ti­ons under which the fish are kept. In addi­ti­on, a com­pre­hen­si­ve ran­ge of infor­ma­ti­on on topics rela­ted to aquacul­tu­re is inten­ded to help edu­ca­te con­su­mers about the ori­gin of fish as a food­s­tuff and to encou­ra­ge con­su­mers to rethink their con­sump­ti­on of fish in a more con­scious and sus­tainable manner.

Offer alter­na­ti­ve busi­ness models for fish and far­mers: The SEAWATER Cube was born from the demand of far­mers for new fields of acti­vi­ty in aquacul­tu­re. For them, thanks to its com­pact dimen­si­ons and regio­nal pro­duc­tion volu­me, the Cube is an inte­res­t­ing way to expand their exis­ting ope­ra­ti­ons and broa­den their pro­duct ran­ge. Fisher­men, who suf­fer from decre­asing yields due to cli­ma­te chan­ge and over­fi­shing, are given the oppor­tu­ni­ty by our plant to build up an alter­na­ti­ve busi­ness with an attrac­ti­ve inco­me for 1.25 per­sons at a mana­geable invest­ment of 250,000 €.

Enable new plant-based pro­ducts: The modu­lar and stan­dar­di­zed design of the SEAWATER sys­tems as well as their effi­ci­ent water tre­at­ment enable the cou­pling of fish far­ming with algae or plant pro­duc­tion. By fee­ding the nut­ri­ent-rich was­te­wa­ter from fish far­ming into algae reac­tors or aqua­po­nic sys­tems, the water and nut­ri­ent use effi­ci­en­cy of the SEAWATER Cube can be fur­ther increased. In addi­ti­on, other local­ly pro­du­ced and healt­hy pro­ducts (e.g. Sali­cor­nia, also cal­led Quel­ler or sea aspa­ra­gus) can be added to the ran­ge of pro­ducts on the operator’s side. One SEAWATER Cube can sup­p­ly up to 77 t of plant bio­mass with nitra­te and phos­pho­rus annually.

Accor­ding to the EU, „Far­mers, fisher­men and aquacul­tu­re pro­du­cers […] play a decisi­ve role in the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the Green Deal.“ Appar­ent­ly, 30% of the funds from the Mari­ti­me and Fishe­ries Fund are to be used for cli­ma­te goals. That would be good, but the­re is still some bureau­cra­tic cour­se to be set for this, becau­se the cur­rent imple­men­ta­ti­on of the direc­ti­ve is at the level of the fede­ral sta­tes and is the­r­e­fo­re very dif­fe­rent. In some cases, salt­wa­ter plants are even gene­ral­ly excluded from funding.

The pre­vious­ly lis­ted points show that we can make a major con­tri­bu­ti­on to achie­ving the goals of the from “Farm to fork“ stra­tegy with the SEAWATER Cube. Howe­ver, in order to ful­fill them on sche­du­le, a proac­ti­ve and appli­ca­ti­on-ori­en­ted approach is important. Start­ups must be given the chan­ce to bring their inno­va­tions to the mar­ket tog­e­ther with cus­to­mers through fun­ded pilot pro­jects. Bureau­cra­cy must be redu­ced and risks have to be taken. We hope that the EU will set a fri­end­ly cour­se for future plant ope­ra­tors and aquacul­tu­re inves­tors. A final direc­ti­ve on the EMFF is curr­ent­ly not yet available online (as of 15.03.2021). Howe­ver, first infor­ma­ti­on about the plan­ned fund is alre­a­dy published here.

Interested in fully-automated fish farming with the SEAWATER Cube?


Pic­tu­re source: SEAWATER Cubes