Developing New Aquaculture Technologies for Crustaceans
A new study By Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
New technologies aimed at improving yields, profitability and environmental sustainability in aquaculture for producing crustaceans are being developed at Enzootic Company in Beersheba. The company is directed by Prof. Amir Sagi from Ben Gurion University, and Dr. Assaf Schechter.
This is one of two start-up companies, which owe their success to the work of the university’s researchers, and are currently located in Beersheba. The second company is BotanoCap, which is based on the research work conducted by Prof. Arie Markus, who works on developing environmentally friendly pesticides.
The idea evolved as crabs are a source of animal protein for the world’s population and so developing technologies to improve the aquaculture for crustaceans is important. These different technologies are aimed at increasing the efficiency and profitability of growing shrimps and other crustaceans.
Among the Company’s products currently at the development stages are several based on producing a population of only female crabs (in those species where the females are larger than the male), control over the molting cycle and the growing processes, as well as solutions to combat outbreaks of viral diseases.
Prof. Sagi notes the potential of the huge and growing market for almost 60 million tons of fish, crabs, oysters, mussels and algae that are currently grown in agricultural farms worldwide.
Prof. Sagi and Dr. Assaf Schechter began collaborating several years ago when Schechter was still a doctoral student in Sagi’s laboratory at Ben Gurion University where research is conducted on the growing and reproduction processes of crustaceans. Dr. Schechter believes in the importance of keeping the R Center here in Israel and more specifically in Beersheba to ensure its success because paradoxically, the desert is the ideal place for conducting research on aquatic life. There is virtually no chance of the laboratory being polluted by local species or that any of the research creatures might escape and disturb the environmental balance in the local water sources.
During the coming year the Company envisages the ongoing development of its products.