Atarraya, the company behind Shrimpbox, the first plug-and-play sustainable shrimp farming technology, and BiomEdit, a microbiome innovator focused on animal health, announced a collaboration agreement a few days ago to investigate microbial changes to improve the sustainability and production associated with shrimp farming. Ultimately, the goal is to significantly improve the profitability of sustainable shrimp aquaculture, as feed is responsible for about 50% of the cost of production of the species.
The research partnership will focus on the control of nitrifying microbes and vibriosis, and will study how microbial communities change over time in a shrimp biofloc system to define the ecosystem homeostasis created for sustainable shrimp farming.
The knowledge gained from the study will help minimize water use, improve the environmental footprint of production and reduce the amount of feed needed to produce shrimp.
The results of this research project will help Atarraya increase shrimp production while reducing costs and improving sustainability. Together, we are making shrimp the most sustainable protein option in global food production, said Daniel Russek, CEO and founder of Atarraya.
Advanced microbiological tools
The goal of the Atarraya and BiomEdit research collaboration, the companies reported, is to gain a better understanding of microbial communities and their correlation with nitrogen spikes and other environmental changes.
Our collaboration with BiomEdit goes back to Atarraya’s core idea: to use deep scientific insights to optimize protein production and contribute to global food security, added Russek
Atarraya and BiomEdit hope to learn more about the ecosystem in aquaculture by using advanced microbiological tools to analyze the composition and diversity of microorganisms inhabiting the shrimp pond, as well as their interactions with each other and their environment.
The Microbiome project will enable a deeper understanding of the role of the microbial community in maintaining culture homeostasis, explains André Freitas, director of Biotechnology at Atarraya.
“The future of modern aquaculture is based on the use of innovative technology applied to high productivity systems, rational use of water and production of premium quality proteins. Shrimp farming in a biofloc system is the face of this new aquaculture.”
Atarraya’s shrimp farming technology uses biofloc technology to transform waste nutrients into feed with the help of microorganisms.
As part of the research collaboration, BiomEdit will use its genetic sequencing platform to provide critical information on the functions of various microorganisms in the shrimp growth cycle through high-throughput strain isolation and characterization.
The approach is especially critical in land-based aquaculture systems with low environmental impact and increases the reliability of shrimp protein production. The research results will be used to inspire strategies to optimize the health and performance of aquaculture shrimp production.
It is worth noting that, as one of the world’s most popular proteins, shrimp plays a key role in feeding a growing world population. In the last five years, shrimp sales volume increased from 275 to 415 million pounds.
However, according to Atarraya’s vision, conventional shrimp farming methods are disastrous for the environment: they destroy the seabed and pollute the oceans.
In that sense, Aaron Schacht, CEO of BiomEdit, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Atarraya to find new ways to unlock the potential of the microbiome for shrimp farmers who are trying to increase production and reduce their environmental footprint to meet the demands of a growing population. Our deep knowledge of the microbiome in livestock combined with Atarraya’s immense experience in shrimp production systems and aquaculture form an ideal combination to optimize the use of the biofloc”.
Shrimp, the sustainable protein of the 21st century
For the entrepreneurs, housed in a traditional shipping container, Shrimpbox by Atarraya is the key to meeting the growing demand for shrimp by increasing production while minimizing the impact on the planet.
Based in Mexico City and Indianapolis, Atarraya is on a mission to make shrimp the sustainable protein of the 21st century. Powered by AI, Atarraya’s proprietary Shrimpbox is a true “plug and play” sustainable shrimp farm to transform aquaculture through the use of the most advanced biotechnology, software and hardware available.
“Atarraya’s Shrimpbox technology was developed over the past 10 years by a team of engineers, biologists and developers from Mexico, Norway, Brazil, Argentina and Poland.”
Atarraya’s holdings -a private corporation backed by Jeffrey Horing, Mark K. Gormley and other angel investors- include Maricultura Vigas, a sustainable aquaculture production company with a decade of experience in shrimp farming using biofloc technology that minimizes water use and eliminates the need for antibiotics and harmful chemicals.
As for BiomEdit, founded in 2022 and based in Fishers, Indiana (USA), it is a company dedicated to discovering, designing and developing novel probiotics, microbiome-derived bioactives and microbial medicines to meet animal health needs.
The company is partnering with Ginkgo Bioworks to amplify and accelerate product discovery and development with the goal of introducing innovation in livestock and veterinary production. BiomEdit is Microbiome Innovation in Animal Health.