… are we doing this?

Here’s why:

Need for Feed

Aquaculture is growing, and many fish species must have marine proteins as feed ingredients, so it is necessary to switch to a sustainable ingredient production that does not deplete the earth’s fish stocks – to feed fish. Our solution can provide truly sustainable feed ingredient at a competitive price. An area of 11 x 11 km Ciona cultivation could replace the entire fish meal produced in EU.

Worlds growing population

The combined effects of population increase and increasing standards of living in developing countries have created significant challenges for the society’s food supply. Estimates suggest that the global food production must increase by 60 percent until 2050 to four billion tonnes. Our solution can be conducted in most coastal sea areas around the world with an important production of proteins regionally.


Too much fertilizers leaks into the sea and has led to increase in algal growth and “dead” oxygen free zones, i.e. eutrophication, which is very costly and harmful for the environment. No competitive solution exists today for efficient nutrient uptake when the nutrients already are in the sea. Until now. Our solution removes 360 tonnes nitrogen and 32 tonnes phosphorus per km2 intensive culture.

Carbon economy

The European Green Deal states that EU shall reduce carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, and thereafter to make the EU “the world’s first climate-neutral continent” by 2050. This demands several improvements in many aspects of our society. The Marine Feed protein has extremely low carbon footprint in comparison to all other available feed ingredients and has a net carbon uptake if the nutrient removal from the sea are considered within the system.

Pesticide free proteins

Vegetable proteins needs fertilizers and pesticides for an efficient production. This increases the nitrogen, phosphorous and pollutants ending up in the sea. Our protein is produced without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

New European blue growth-based industries

Food security and employment. Europe is highly dependent on import of feed ingredients (e.g. soy) that puts the European food supply at a high risk, calling for increased EU-domestic food production. Further, many coastal areas are suffering from a declining fish industry with a loss of 200.000 jobs during 1990-2013 (64 % decline). Large-scale Ciona cultivation will increase investments, generate coastal jobs and improve EU food security.

No land or water usage

In a growing population we need land and water for direct and smart use. Marine culture doesn’t compete with land usage or water consumption

Large scaled culture of Ciona intestinalis

Zero Emission Feed

“Marine Feed can produce zero CO2, organic fish feed– and at the same time remove excess nutrients from the sea”

Fredrik Norén, Founder Marine Feed

That is a rather bold statement. Is it posible? The short answer is, as often, both yes and no. Of course we use energy and material when producing feed ingredient, but in the world of Life Cycle Assessments (LCA:s) it is possible to combine two or more products consuming the same energy during its lifecycle. And since one of our products is nutrient uptake, that under certain circumstances, replaces nitrogen and phsophorous removal by municipality waste water treatment plants is it possible to be carbon footprint negative since nutrient removal has a very large carbon footprint.

This is how we reason:

Nutrient removal
Nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) are vital macro-nutrients for phytoplankton growth and are mainly used in proteins and the energy system of the cell. Either fuelled by solar energy, where photosynthesis incorporates carbon and nutrients in the organisms, or by heterotrophic growth where the microorganism, primarily, eats other photosynthetic microorganisms – all microorganisms are food for Ciona growth and transfers the planktonic nutrients to the Ciona. This is a low-trophic harvesting system and since every transfer between trophic levels loses energy it is much more efficient in comparison to use top predatory fishes as a food or feed source. The second benefit of low-trophic harvest is that the lower in the food-web, the lower the concentration of bioaccumulated harmful contaminants, which is a problem for fish meal from fish species rich in fat.

When we harvest Ciona, we also remove N and P from the marine system. This counteracts eutrophication, which is excess of N and P in the water that makes phytoplankton and macroalgae grow too well. “Eutrophication is one of the most important and long lasting water quality problems in the EU“[1]

Circular Feed
Circularity in feed production

Nutrient removal as a service

Using harvest of filter-feeders to remove N and P, when it already is in the water, are evaluated by Swedish authorities to be a compensatory measure. Using the same method is also considered a possibility to compensate N release from sea-based fish culture and other industries.

If we perform nutrient removal as a service, we can also add the ecosystem service of nitrogen removal to the carbon footprint calculation of the production system, see below. When harvest Ciona is used instead of ordinary N&P removal at a 50.000 persons municipality waste water treatment plant, it will replace the carbon footprint for the N & P removal of -0.36kg CO2e/kg Ciona meal (CO2e: CO2-equivalents, based on values from scientific literature[1] and LCA made on our concept[2])

Carbon Footprint

According to the latest LCA (see footnote 3) Ciona meal has a carbon footprint of 0.2 kg CO2e/kg Ciona meal. Our concept is always using industrial waste heat as a primary source of energy for boiling and drying.

[1] European Commission, and Directorate-General for the Environment. Guidance Document on Eutrophication Assessment in the Context of European Water Policies No 23. Luxembourg: Publications Office, 2009

[1] Parravicini, Vanessa, Karl Svardal, and Jörg Krampe. ”Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Wastewater Treatment Plants”. Energy Procedia 97 (november 2016): 246–53

[2] An LCA are made in the project AquaBioProFit by Dr Erasmo Cadena at Vertech Group, France

Contact us

Fredrik Norén, Founder, RnD manager,

Olle Stenberg, CEO,

Visting & postal adress

Marine Feed Sweden AB
Ängsvägen 12
SE-444 31 Stenungsund

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