News & Events

CTSA’s Dr. Cheng-Sheng Lee featured in Televised News Interview on Hawaii Aquaculture Accelerator

May 2, 2019

CTSA’s Dr. Cheng-Sheng Lee was featured in a recent televised news interview on a new aquaculture accelerator in Hawaii. Click here to view the video and read the corresponding article on KITV. Content is also pasted below:

Something is fishy about Hawaii’s newest business accelerator!

Because it aims to bring in technology companies for state aquaculture.

Hawaii residents like to eat a lot of seafood, on average about 37 pounds per person every year. And we are not alone.

“The demand for seafood is rising every year, and cannot be met by wild catch alone,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige.
That means aquaculture is not just a growing industry, but a critical one for our food sustainability.

“Since 2016, aquaculture has provided 50% of the seafood we are eating,” stated Cheng-Sheng Lee, with the University of Hawaii’s Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture.

Hawaii doesn’t have too many large scale aquaculture operations.
Most of the aquaculture people see are small aquaponics set-ups in people’s backyard,

“Although we are small scale and don’t produce a large quantity of aquaculture, Hawaii in terms of research worldwide is significant,” added Lee.

Here pathogen-free shrimp were developed, and parasite resistant strains of fish were breed then sent around the global to re-stock important fisheries.

Now, Hawaii wants to round up technology companies to provide even more of a boost to the industry. It is opening an aquaculture accelerator, for start-up companies from the islands and around the world.

“If you have a new feed ingredient, or health product, that could be relevant to this accelerator—not generic farming operations,” said HATCH Chief Executive Officer Carsten Krome.

$4.5 million in state and federal funding will help a dozen small companies scale up each year at the Hawai’i Ocean Science and Technology Park in Kailua-Kona.

The accelerator, a three year pilot program, is just getting underway but Krome said many companies are all ready to dive into Hawaii’s aquaculture.
While the Governor doesn’t want the state to get passed over by this rapidly growing industry.

“The world is expanding in this area and people are more conscious about the limitations of what is caught in the wild. As well as the potential increases and expansion of aquaculture,” said Ige.