Red Sea Development Company partners with Blue Planet Ecosystems for the sustainable fish pilot scheme

    14 Oct 2021

    The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has signed two memorandums of understanding (MoU) with Blue Planet Ecosystems (BPE), Saudi Gazette states.

    Signed by CEO of TRSDC John Pagano and CEO of BPE Paul Schmitzburger, the first MoU sees the entities pledging to investigate the implementation of a viable solution for Sustainable High Tech, CO2 Negative fish production.

    The Blue Planet Ecosystems’ proposed solution will provide sustainable production of seafood and algae in a desert environment.

    “In response to growing consumer demand for sustainable protein during their travel experiences and to support our regenerative ambitions, TRSDC strives to explore innovative technology solutions. Our partnership with Blue Planet Ecosystems, means working together to set a new global standard in sustainable, multitrophic desert aquaculture where we can literally turn sunlight into seafood,” said the CEO of TRSDC.

    The Land-based Automated Recirculating Aquaculture (LARA) system works by replicating natural aquatic ecosystems in a modular and automated system. LARA converts CO2 directly into chemical-free seafood using phyto and zooplankton as transitional stages.

    It is constructed of a tower of three horizontal units. The top unit uses the sun’s energy to grow microalgae which powers the entire system. The microalgae is then moved to the next unit down, where it nourishes zooplankton. The zooplankton is then transported to the bottom unit, where it’s eaten by fish.

    “The (LARA) system has a minimal environmental footprint and will aid in carbon sequestration for our flagship destination as well as future projects on the Red Sea coast in alignment with the company’s aspiration to achieve 100% carbon neutrality,” added Pagano.

    The first phase of the project will be implemented as a 3.500 m2 pilot, to assess whether conditions at The Red Sea Project are suitable for the solution to work effectively and efficiently. This will be the first LARA pilot in the Middle East to undergo a commercial trial.

    The CEO of Blue Planet Ecosystems said: “It is fascinating to see what can be achieved when innovation meets a clear vision for a sustainable future. The Red Sea Project is demonstrating how the destination of the future will look and operate.”

    “At the Red Sea Project site, the conditions are perfect to pilot and establish our desert farming technology – to demonstrate our joint vision of turning sunlight into seafood. We are looking forward to this amazing development journey and feel proud to be making our contribution to a global movement,” added Schmitzberger.

    The second MoU signed was to acknowledge TRSDC and BPE’s intention to jointly participate in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition funded by Elon Musk’s Musk Foundation. The competition, which has prize money of US$100M, is aimed at tackling the biggest problem facing humanity: climate change and rebalancing the Earth’s carbon cycle. As this aligns with TRSDC’s and BPE’s goals, the two parties will enter the competition as one team.


    The move to produce seafood sustainably is in response to “growing consumer demand for sustainable protein,” the Red Sea company chief John Pagano said to media on October 4.

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