“We don’t need to only look for alternative protein solutions to meet the world’s food demands. Nature already has solutions,” Ocean Fresco’s Bernardo Ferreira de Carvalho told ImpactAlpha.
Bivalves, like clams, are a viable, sustainable option because they’re simple, low-energy species that provide high quality, healthy protein with minimal inputs and no antibiotics. “Plus they filter the water so they are good for the sea environment,” Carvalho added.
Oceano Fresco’s €2.7 million ($3 million) capital infusion, backed by Portuguese “bioeconomy” venture capital firm BlueCrow Capital, will go to developing its first off-shore farm. There, the company will grow two clam species that are native to southern Europe, whose natural habitat is threatened by invasive clam species from Asia.
It will open the farm in October 2020, and will begin harvesting clams for sale across southern Europe in 2022 or 2023, once the first batch of clams mature.