The world is no stranger to food crises. In 2008 and now, consumers face shortages of food. COVID-19’s impact on trade and the Ukrainian war disrupted the production and supply of food.
These shortages occur while demand for healthy, sustainably produced food continues to rise. According to a Nature.com study, food consumption will likely increase by over 50% between now and 2050, while other studies give numbers as high as 70% or even 110%.
A key component of the food chain is fish. Over 3 billion people in the world depend on fish as their primary protein, while the U.S., Japan, and China top the charts in the global market as the largest consumers of fish. However, with supply chains affected, countries have had to become less dependent on fish imports. The U.S., which currently imports 90% of its fish, recently set the agenda of bringing the aquaculture industry back to America.
One company that seems to be taking the food problem seriously is Nocera Inc.
. Nocera describes itself as an innovative recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) production and consulting company, providing solutions to the land-based fish farm industry.
In a 2021 interview, Jeff Cheng, CEO of Nocera, said that “we are trying to change the world, we’re trying to save the world, because we have a food crisis coming by 2050. Even now we have a crisis because the pandemic has meant that ships are not moving and airplanes are not flying. This is something that is real; it is actually happening.”
Sustainable Practices For Local Fish Farms
Nocera is a designer and provider of land-based fish farms that use RAS technology to look to maximize efficiency and sustainability. It seeks to serve market needs by providing engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) solutions, providing tanks that are cheap and quick to install and are capable of second use, dismantling, and relocating.
As opposed to the more labor-intensive land-based fish farming methods, the company states that it takes only a month to set up a tank and then three to six months, depending on the breed of fish, for fish to be harvest-ready, meaning that Nocera might be more capable of responding quickly to needs in a crisis situation.
Although there are many large fishing companies in the market, like Blue Star Foods (NASDAQ BSFC) Norwegian, Lerøy Seafood Group ASA
, and Atlantic Sapphire ASA
, Nocera says it is able to prioritize helping smaller fishing companies. A recent open letter to the Biden administration from the coalition “Don’t Cage Our Oceans” critiqued the unsupervised action of industrial fish farming, which can often negatively impact smaller ecosystems.
Nocera’s tanks, which are cheaper to build and which it claims harvest 80 times the amount of fish compared with conventional farming, might be appealing to smaller companies. It lowers the barriers of entry into the market and, by recycling the water, prioritizes sustainability and eco-friendly fishing practices. It also introduced solar panels above the fish tanks to maximize the farm’s energy usage.
As part of its move to help fish farmers in the U.S., Nocera acquired a fish farm in Alabama in June 2022. It plans to continue investing and spreading RAS farms throughout the U.S. while also spreading to other parts of the Americas and Europe. Its expansion into the American market this year comes after 2021 which had revenue up 700% from 2020.