Biotechnology and fish farming: Gas guzzlers

Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Europe’s boat people Fly Title:  Biotechnology and fish farming SOMETHING called Methylococcus capsulatus might not sound an appetising ingredient for a meal. Methylococcus is a methanotroph, a bacterium that metabolises methane. Fortunately, salmon are not fussy eaters. They will happily consume pelletised protein made from these bugs. And that could be handy for fish farmers—at least it will be if Alan Shaw, boss of Calysta, a biotechnology firm in Menlo Park, California, has anything to do with it. For Dr Shaw proposes to take advantage of the rock-bottom price of methane, a consequence of the spread of natural-gas fracking, to breed Methylococci en masse as a substitute for the fish-meal such farmers now feed to their charges. The idea of using methanotrophs as fish food was invented by Statoil, a Norwegian oil and gas company. Calysta bought the technology in 2014, and has been refining it since then. Crucially, from a business point of view, the EU and Norway have already approved the use of Methylococcus-based fish food. Though America has yet to follow suit, this means ...
Source: Biotechnology - Category: Biotechnology Source Type: news

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