NPR

Seafood Without The Sea: Will Lab-Grown Fish Hook Consumers?

The seafood industry has some well-publicized problems: from overfishing to contaminants that make their way into fish. Now, a handful of startups aim to offer a "clean" alternative grown from cells.
Above, fresh mahi mahi harvested from the sea. A handful of cell-based seafood companies are attempting to create fresh fish species, including mahi mahi, in a lab — where they will be grown without a head, tail, skin or bones. Source: Boston Globe

High-tech meat alternatives are grabbing a lot of headlines these days. Last month, the Impossible Burger marked a meatless milestone with its debut as a Burger King Whopper. Meanwhile, Lou Cooperhouse was in a San Diego office park quietly forging plans to disrupt another more fragmented and opaque sector of the food industry: seafood.

His company, BlueNalu (a play on a Hawaiian term that means both ocean waves and mindfulness), is racing to bring to market what's known as cell-based seafood --- that is, seafood grown from cells in a lab, not harvested from the oceans.

BlueNalu is aiming for serious scalability — a future where cities around the globe will be home to 150,000-square-foot facilities, each able to produce enough cell-based seafood to meet the consumption demands of more than 10 million nearby residents.

But unlike Impossible Foods, BlueNalu is not creating a like vegan Toona or shrimpless shrimp. Instead,

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