The strategic funding will also allow the yellowtail producer to prepare for their next steps towards large-scale production across both US and Europe. Other investors in the round include Creadev and Rabobank.
Nutreco, which is the parent company of global aquafeed firm Skretting, also sees the deal as way to further develop “best in class” feed for use in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Skretting is currently delivering juvenile feed to Kingfish Zeeland operations, and the companies will now work towards broader cooperation.
Yellowtail kingfish is a premium fish species, traditionally used in Japanese and Italian cuisine. In the US and Europe, supplies of the species are constrained with negligible local production. Established in 2015, Kingfish Zeeland offers locally produced, ultra-fresh, ASC/BAP certified yellowtail kingfish raised through RAS.
“Nutreco’s ambition is to continue to invest and partner with leaders in sustainable protein production around the globe,” says Nutreco CEO Rob Koremans. “This investment fits well with our strategy to play a leading role in the development of sustainable solutions to fulfil our mission. Over the past few years, it has become clear that the growing demand for seafood calls for development of alternative farming models such as RAS to complement the existing aquaculture methods.”
Viggo Halseth, Nutreco’s chief innovation officer adds: “Kingfish Zeeland has successfully gained a first mover position in the premium RAS farming sector, producing high value yellowtail kingfish in a sustainable way. We believe that full-cycle RAS is a very relevant way of fish farming, which builds on the existing knowledge of on-land farming. Kingfish Zeeland is the kind of innovative and technologically-knowledgeable partner we want to be working with.”
CEO of Skretting, Nutreco’s aquaculture division, and Nutreco COO Therese Log Bergjord says, “Skretting is a world leading partner for RAS producers. Kingfish Zeeland’s knowledge of farming yellowtail kingfish in RAS coupled with our expertise on high quality RAS feeds will help further integrate farming and feed solutions towards optimal fish performance, and will help further develop this highly sustainable form of aquaculture.”
Kingfish Zeeland CEO, Ohad Maiman, added: “We are excited to develop a partnership with a strategic industry leader such as Nutreco, and work closely with its aquafeed division Skretting. As we enter the scale up phase of our mission to advance a first mover position in the sustainable production of premium seafood, we see strong alignment with Nutreco’s mission and values, and are grateful for their strong support and vote of confidence. This partnership will help Kingfish Zeeland accelerate large-scale production of yellowtail through RAS across the US and European markets, and is a critical milestone in our development.”