Reserved Amount = € 0,00
Reserved Amount = € 0,00
Marine Biodiversity Protection
Environmental integration: The Company’s facilities are harmoniously integrated into the Alvor Natura 2000 bird sanctuary waterway. The fishponds are old, converted salt ponds dug in the ground and built with native materials. The facilities were designed to blend with the natural environment of the estuary’s ecosystem, mindful of the local flora and fauna, including the farm’s neighboring birds. Aerial cables were removed and replaced with under and on-ground cables. The ponds were covered with nets to keep both fish and birds safe.
Ecosystem equilibrium: The farm’s operations promote ecosystem equilibrium. Water from all 19 of the farm’s ponds is completely renewed each day with the tidal exchange. Water released back into the estuary is rich in nutrients that promote the development of microalgae that feed the shellfish farmed elsewhere in the estuary and provides nutrients as head of a complete chain. Equilibrium is maintained by the symbiotic activity of fish and shellfish farming in the same ecosystem.
Water quality: Ponds and waterways were designed for efficient water management and 100% water renovation every 24 hours with the tidal exchange. Critical variables such as water quality, flow, renovation, and oxygenation are actively monitored, managed, and controlled 24/7. Constant water renovation allows for dilution of excrements expelled by the fish, which at low levels of concentration are naturally used as nutrients with minimal impact on the ecosystem.
Sustainable feed: NaturaFish has a strong commitment to the use of sustainable animal feed. In partnership with Aquasoja, the Company is leading the development of a new type of feed for improved digestibility that uses a higher percentage of fishing industry byproducts, thus minimizing waste released by its fish and avoiding the killing of wild fish to use as feed. The Company is also using vegetable sources and alternative omega-3 and fatty acids sources for feed production.
In addition to supplemental feed, fish raised in the NaturaFish estuary ponds benefit from live feed that comes in naturally with each tidal exchange, twice daily. This combination of supplemental and natural feed gives the fish superior organoleptic qualities, such as taste, texture, color, and form.
Animals wellbeing promotion
The fish swim freely in large, one-ha ponds dug in the estuary where they grow naturally as wild. Water oxygen levels are carefully monitored and controlled. Supplemental feed (in addition to live feed that comes in naturally with the tidal exchange) is delivered automatically, following a careful plan that takes into account various factors, such as size, lifecycle stage, climate, and growth. Different feed formulas are used in response to different pathological risks. Water quality, the main driver of disease prevention, is carefully monitored and is maintained primarily through constant renovation. Essential oils are used to treat certain health conditions and as anesthetics to numb the fish to reduce handling stress, during sampling, for instance. Finally, special techniques are used to cause minimal stress during harvest, resulting in minimal animal suffering and release of low levels of adrenaline, as well as improved preservation of natural flavors and increased shelf life while fresh.
An alternative to the importation of fish raised in high-density cages
Europe suffers from a huge seafood supply/demand imbalance. Ninety percent of the seabass and seabream consumed in Portugal is imported, primarily from large-scale aquaculture production in Greece, Spain, and Turkey. Industrial scale aquaculture, using high-density cages offshore, although efficient, does not meet minimum standards of sustainability and animal welfare. European seabass and gilthead seabream grow naturally in the wild in estuaries and inlets, not offshore in the open sea. NaturaFish answers the supply/demand imbalance, protecting wild stocks sustainably, using methods that ensure animal health and wellbeing.
The Company creates 17 direct jobs (and many more indirect jobs) as it reaches stabilization. These are permanent, year-round jobs in a region that is highly dependent on seasonal tourism. The NaturaFish Team includes specialists in marine biology, pharmacy, nutrition, and ocean sciences. The Company is conducting R&D in partnership with various entities from industry, government, and academia, including highly-skilled professionals, several of them with PhDs.
NaturaFish is a seabass and seabream sustainable aquaculture. Harmoniously integrated in nature, it represents a sustainable alternative to wild fishing and high-density aquaculture in offshore cages, ensuring animal wellbeing and a positive environmental impact. Fish live in their natural habitat and are fed by the nutrients provided by the tidal exchange, complemented with supplementary feed. The Company invests substantially in research and development to reach the most natural possible aquaculture.
Located in ria de Alvor, in the Algarve region (South of Portugal), it is part of Natura 2000, the nature conservation areas’ network created by the European Union to ensure the survival of animal species and protect Europe’s most valuable habitats. The farm has 19 hectares of total area and 19 tanks with the capacity to produce 500 ton of fish per year. Due to its ideal geographic location, NaturaFish has the right natural conditions (climate, water quality, and natural food) to produce the highest quality seabass and seabream.
The project started in 2018 with the reclamation of an abandoned shrimp farm built on old salt ponds. The first fish starts were introduced still in the summer of 2018. Following a two-year production cycle, the first harvest and first sales occurred in June 2020. It sold over 100 tons of fish in five months. The Company expects to reach operational and financial stabilization during 2021, with an annual production of 500 tons. For the following three years, besides reaching stabilization and becoming a market reference for quality, NaturaFish has also the following targets:
Average per-kg prices of 8.00€ and 11.00€ (for 400g and 800g fish, respectively)
Annual revenues of 4.4M€
EBITDA margin of 35%
The funds raised through this campaign will be used as working capital, being this campaign part of the complete financial structuring for setting up and operating the project which includes Venture Capital investment, national grants and long term bank financing.
The project will have a total investment of 7.6M€, from which 1.23M€ were secured by the non-refundable MAR2020 Program, 1.97M€ by a convertible debt from BlueCrow Capital, 2M€ from long-term bank financing, 150K€ from this campaign and equity.
Payments Status: On time