According to the World Wildlife Fund, more than 85% of global fish stocks in our oceans are “at significant risk of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” including species like the Bluefin tuna, which is currently on the Endangered Species protection list. And for Bay Area startup Finless Foods, which is using clean meat technology to create tuna and other fish without further endangering the wild fish populations, there are many reasons this advancement of food science is critical.
The company, founded by Mike Selden and Brian Wyrwas, says it’s on target to bring to market a lab-grown Bluefin tuna by the end of 2019. Like lab-grown clean meat, Finless Foods uses cells from the fish to grow the meat without the need, in this case, to catch an endangered species or any of the bycatch commonly caught in nets, including sharks, dolphins, and turtles.
Clean meat tech has gone from the sci-fi sounding “test-tube” burger that was priced at $325,000, to companies like Hampton Creek and Memphis Meats promising to bring cultured meat to market within the next year at costs comparable to current market prices for conventional animal products.
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