Bluu Seafood offering cell-based fish in Hamburg-Altona

Frauenhofer spin-off scaling up production with fish from a bioreactor

Bluu Seafood offering cell-based fish in Hamburg-Altona

The Berlin-based start-up, Bluu Seafood, specialises in commercially-produced, farmed fish and is now opening a branch in Altona. The 25-strong team works at the interface of biotechnology and food technology to produce cell-based fish, which may yet prove a solution to the menace of overfishing. About a third of all fish species worldwide are overfished and another 60 per cent are "overexploited". Demand is rising driven by a growing world population, according to the U.N.’s  Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Network and expertise in Hamburg

"Altona offers excellent conditions for life sciences and other technology-orientated industries," said Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of Hamburg Invest. Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, noted the "wide-ranging network of high-tech companies, renowned research institutions and universities that work in biotechnology to turn innovative ideas into marketable products". Founded as a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Development Centre for Marine and Cellular Biotechnology (EMB) in 2020, Bluu Seafood is setting up shop in a former marzipan factory on a 2,000 square metre site.

Company relying on sustainable fish from bioreactor

A cell-based fish is "sustainable fish meat made from fish cells grown in a bioreactor", according to the start-up. Essentially, cell-based fish is an animal product that does not compromise animal welfare. In view of the growing world population, the product has the potential to supply a large part of humanity with proteins. In addition to the high nutritional value, the environmental impact is also low, as less CO2 is emitted and less water and energy is consumed. Blue Seafood now wants to expand production beyond the laboratory. "Hamburg offers us an attractive environment for growth. The former marzipan factory offers us the space we need. We will also benefit from Hamburg's quality of life to attract more qualified employees," said Dr Sebastian Rakers, CEO of Bluu Seafood.