IU Featured at Hatchery International Magazine
Bluefin tuna are a viable commercial species that command great prices, such that wild populations are overexploited to supply the lucrative sushi and sashimi markets. The Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) population, for example, is now just about three per cent of what it was when records started (circa 1930).
Now, one U.S. firm is developing solutions to bolster the bluefin supply and remove limitations for closed-cycle bluefin farming in North America. Based in San Diego, California, Ichthus Unlimited (IU) LLC began as a consulting firm in 2005 to serve the needs of a UK/Canadian/Japanese venture in La Paz, Mexico. The company has since reached milestones in solving several key challenges with bluefin farming. The company successfully developed a hatchery technology for bluefin, eliminating reliance on wild-captured fish to stock net pens. It has also replaced baitfish feeding with sustainable tuna feeds, which use renewable, nutritious ingredients.
“Current tuna feeding practices worldwide are unsustainable and can result in the collapse of natural fisheries,” says IU president Alejandro Buentello. “As a premium feed company, we incorporate novel agricultural raw materials into our feed and have over 50 different ingredients. IU’s diets have been successfully tested and validated in commercial and laboratory settings.”