A fast growing filterfeeder

We find many names for those we love. These particular marine invertebrate animals can also be called tunicates or ascidians, but we prefer to call them sea squirts. This name refers to their habit of contracting when taken out of the water, resulting in water being squirted out.


There are several different kinds of sea squirts to be found in marine water all over the world. The one we cultivate, and also grows naturally in huge abundances at the Swedish west coast, is called Ciona intestinalis. Its outer covering is gelatinous and formed from proteins and cellulose.

During their larval stage they resemble a swimming tadpole. As fast as possible, and most often within a few minutes, the larva finds a suitable place to grow where it cements itself and transforms quickly grows into an adult sea squirt. The larvae are released in May-June and are ready to harvest already in September when they are 4-5 cm in length. Ciona intestinalis lives close together in large colonies that are attached on rocks or other solid surfaces under water, preferably in shadow and below 1-2 meters depth. When you snorkel or scuba-dive in harbours, you will probably see them under the pontoons and on poles. Sea squirts “eats” by filtering water, full of nutritious phytoplankton , through their filtering gills. In the plankton rich waters of Western Sweden, the sea squirts can assimilate the nutrients and energy in the plankton for a very fast growth. Healthy omega-3 fatty acids are taken up from the plankton as well as important trace minerals.

Contact us

Fredrik Norén, Founder, RnD manager, fredrik@marinefeed.com

Olle Stenberg, CEO, olle@marinefeed.com

Visting & postal adress

Marine Feed Sweden AB
Ängsvägen 12
SE-444 31 Stenungsund
Sweden

Logo EIT Food

Supporting funding

EU project: EUFutureAqua

EU project: AquaBioProFit

Swedish VINNOVA: 5-tonnes-green-fish-in-dish

Swedish HaV: Blue nutrient harvest

EIT Food: Rising Food Stars