EcoFishCircle is developing next-generation land-based aquaculture that will significantly reduce carbon emissions from fish farming. “We are transforming aquaculture from an environmental concern into a mitigator of climate change,” says Jarle Dragvik, CEO of EcoFishCircle.
Aquaculture represents a balancing act between interests. The UN views aquaculture as essential to ending global hunger, from which 83 million people suffer worldwide. Yet as aquaculture expands, transformative changes are needed to achieve more sustainable fish farming to protect our planet.
“The aquaculture industry faces three environmental challenges: disease and parasites, fish escapes, and unsustainable feed ingredients with a high carbon footprint. EcoFishCircle addresses all of these problems,” says Dragvik.
EcoFishCircle has designed a next-generation recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) using advanced technologies such as carbon capture from fish respiration, blockchain and artificial intelligence. Scalable and modular, the innovative system consists of individual, self-contained tanks with in-tank biofilters and connected sludge handling.
“Each tank is one isolated farm, which means you can control each stock and each generation. This also stops the spread of disease and other unwanted incidents,” says Dragvik.
The design eliminates the need for large common industrial housing, reducing land use and building and operational costs. The simplified infrastructure cuts construction costs in half. Moreover, 97 per cent of the water is recycled, significantly reducing energy consumption.
“Overall, our system reduces fish production costs by at least 30 per cent compared to traditional RAS systems,” he adds.
EcoFishCircle reduces carbon emissions from fish farming by 40 per cent, both directly through CO₂ capture and indirectly by eliminating the need to import soy for use as a protein ingredient in fish feed. In this circular system, CO₂ from fish respiration is captured to be converted into a sustainable alternative to feed ingredients such as soy concentrate and fish meal.
“Our circular concept will make farmed fish the most sustainable animal protein on the planet,” says Dragvik.
To enable this, EcoFishCircle has established Gas 2 Feed, a sister company working to develop a sustainable salmon feed ingredient using carbon capture, fermentation, and oxygen and hydrogen molecules from electrolysis. When fully implemented, the circular system will eliminate carbon emissions from aquaculture.
Moreover, the system improves fish welfare by eliminating the spread of disease and sea lice. It also prevents fish escapes, improves consumer safety through new traceability technology and opens up land for other purposes such as agricultural production or bird habitats.
EcoFishCircle’s RAS system will be available soon, while the circularity technology with Gas 2 Feed is under development. In cooperation with Gas 2 Feed, EcoFishCircle will soon establish the Lista Project, the first facility to demonstrate its sustainable and circular aquaculture system.
“Our concept makes it relatively easy to get investors on board. Since each tank is built separately, we can start farming in the first one and add on from there. This limits financial risk and provides early cash flow,” says Dragvik.
“EcoFishCircle will be a gamechanger in aquaculture,” he concludes.
2. Zero hunger
EcoFishCircle enables sustainable aquaculture, helping to improve food security.
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
EcoFishCircle reduces CO₂ emissions from land-based aquaculture.
12. Responsible consumption and production
EcoFishCircle can recycle CO₂ for use in fish feed, creating a circular aquaculture system.
14. Life below water
EcoFishCircle eliminates fish escapes and spread of disease.