Hello!

We appreciate you taking the time to review our crowdfunding page! Our journey has culminated over the past two years to this exciting moment. As we prepare to move forward in taking our company from vision to concept we invite you to join us in taking this pivotal next step. Stay tuned as our GoFundMe launches November 5th! We look forward to opportunity to create a positive impact for ocean biodiversity with you.

~ Nobilis Aqua Team

Nobilis Aqua was founded in January of 2019 by co-founders Kelly Haugen and Erica Tardiff. Our company creates high performance, sustainable aquafeeds for fish farmers and hatchery operators. Our feeds are sustainable because we replace traditional ocean-sourced fishmeal with invasive species protein alternatives.

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Our Products

Nobilis Aqua creates premium sustainable aqua feeds to fish farmers seeking access into premium markets. We do this by tailoring our products to premium market regulations and utilize invasive Asian carp fishmeal as a substitute to traditional fishmeal.

Long-Term Vision

Our vision is ultimately to create a company that improves global biodiversity through the utilization of invasive species. Long-term we want to instill ourselves as the leading feed company of protein alternatives globally. Our goal is to continue innovating across all sources of invasive species in order to create economic opportunities for ecosystems and industry alike.


Our Team & Advisors

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Erica_Portrait

Kelly Haugen
Co-founder & Business Development

Responsible for strategy development and overall success of the company. Kelly’s educational background includes his undergraduate degree in business administration and his recently completed his MBA in Global, Social, and Sustainable Enterprise from Colorado State University. Previous experience ranges from working in marketing, operations, and international development spanning across the travel, tech, outdoor, and healthcare industries. His passion for fishing stems from his family’s history fishing for both crab & salmon throughout Alaska. After spending a season salmon fishing in Bristol Bay, Kelly made the decision to focus his career ocean conservation. His business background will be harnessed to ensure the overall successful growth of the company.


Erica Tardiff

Co-founder & Product Management

Responsible for ensuring efficiency of business and processing operations. Erica has an educational and professional background in managing aquatic invasive species and ecological systems. She is also a recent graduate of the Global, Social and Sustainable MBA at Colorado State University. Her passions lie in land conservation, fisheries, and creating a more sustainable future. Her knowledge will be valuable in creating supply relationships with fish farms and production entities. Her skills in laboratory work will be useful in understanding our processing systems and creating innovative ways to overcome processing issues. Erica also has strong leadership skills, which can be used to ensure the operations team works well once Nobilis Aqua expands.

Katherine Gregory

Katherine has spent more than a quarter century helping companies of all sizes grow, both in terms of profit and impact. After earning her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Katherine worked in fortune 100 companies, built start-from-scratch companies, and mentored teams every step of the way. She has helped businesses of all sizes, non-profits, as well as eager young collegiate entrepreneurs. She is proud to serve as an Executive Committee Board Member for Score a Friend, a non-profit advancing inclusion in the world for youth of all abilities and as the Entrepreneur in Residence for the Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA program at Colorado State University.

Patrick Horley

Patrick is an aquaculture expert with over a decades worth experience in fish farm management & consulting. His works spans across the globe including Ghana, Canada, Zambia, Kenya, and the United States. His most recent consulting project includes developing and conducting feed trials with fish farms in Kenya. Patrick currently holds the position of Aquarist at ABQ Aquapark in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Campaign Overview

Our campaign goal is to raise $50,000 this November in order to launch our initial sustainable trout feed study.

Why Now?

Simply put - in order to validate our feed performance we need to see the concept put into place. We’ve spent over two years conducting industry research, interviewing customers, and pitching at various competitions around the country. Our feedback has been nothing short of positive support along the way! We know the industry is currently at a critical point in time for an opportunity (such as ours) to create the next generation of sustainable feeds for the aquaculture market.

We’re ready to go

  • Our sustainable trout feed is developed

  • We have our supply chain built and ready for feed production

  • Farm partnership secured! We’ve partnered with Frontier Trout Ranch to conduct our feed study.

  • Our team & advisory board has the expertise to create a successful trial!

Your Impact

You can buy coffee any day! Today we ask that you please consider helping us prove that invasive species can create a positive impact and sustainable solution for aquaculture.

This is your chance to support a business solution that can have positive external effects to our environment while pushing innovation in the growing aquaculture sector. You will have direct impact on bringing the newest innovation sustainable trout feed to market while simultaneously protecting both our ocean resources and midwestern river ecosystems. That’s pretty awesome!

Industry Outlook

Aquaculture is an extremely fast growing industry, with expected growth of 30% in the next five years, which will only exacerbate use of wild ocean fish as a protein source in feeds and continue to burden farmers with rising feed costs. Annually, 16 million tons of fish are harvested each year specifically for fishmeal production. Ultimately, the more feed our company produces and sells, the greater positive environmental impact we have. For instance, if we reach $10 million in sales that equates to 14.2 million pounds of Asian carp consumption, meaning we’ve effectively made an impact on both preventing use of wild ocean fish and removing an invasive species from river ecosystems. We find our solution as a vital component for the future of ocean species conservation. Currently, farmed salmonids require 1 pound of ocean fish to yield 1 pound of weight gain. While the industry is trending toward becoming less reliant on wild caught fishmeal, our goal is to push that number as close to 0 as possible.

Click here to read The Nature Conservancy’s guide on aquaculture investing



If we can shift production toward the most sustainable forms of aquaculture production, we can not only foster healthier marine ecosystems, but also a stronger global food system.
— The Nature Conservancy

Consumer Feedback

Earlier this year we conducted more consumer research in order to gain feedback and a clearer understanding of future customers needs and pain points. This feedback was critical for developing our business strategy as we prepare our go to market strategy.

Based on 30 calls we concluded that:

  • There is a need for sustainable feeds that includes the incorporation of fishmeal

  • Farmers will buy sustainable feed if the price point is competitive with traditional feeds

  • Sustainability is being driven by the end-consumer (chefs, grocery stores, conscious-purchasers, etc.)

  • Multiple farms are already shortlisted after expressing interest in purchasing our feeds once produced

Competitive Landscape

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The aquafeed market has a variety of industry leaders within the sector. Competitors will vary from both large and small feed companies throughout the US aquafeed market.

Two of the major entities in the US fish feed industry are Cargill (EWOS) and Skretting, each serving many high volume aquaculture farms. Minor players within the feed sector include companies such as Ziegler, Taplow, and Bio-Oregon. Nobilis will competing within the realm of these small producers of sustainable aquafeeds. While these smaller companies can appeal to niche markets, they lack in the protein quality that we will provide.

Where did they come from?

Invasive Asian Carp have proliferated throughout the United States since the 1970s when they were introduced as a potential solution to clean aquaculture systems in the South. Unfortunately, the carp escaped during floods throughout region and have since expanded across Midwestern river ecosystems. To date the Illinois government has spent over $400 million solely on electric barriers to stop the carp migration from reaching the Great Lakes.

Why do you want to use Asian carp?

Today, Asian Carp are plentiful and super cheap to purchase. This is primarily due to the fact that Asian Carp are deemed a trash fish - essentially no one wants them or knows what to do with them. Fishermen get only about 10 - 18 cents per pound to fish them with limited markets to sell to at the moment. We see carp as the future for providing a dual economic and sustainable impact throughout Midwestern states.

Won’t the Asian Carp run out?

Short answer - No.

Through our conversations with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources we have a clear understanding that the Asian Carp are here to stay. They make up 97% of the biomass of the Illinois river, produce up to 1 million eggs per year (per carp), and already 30 - 50 million pounds of carp exist in the Illinois river alone (273 miles). Biologists predict we can get their biomass down to 20% but this is years away with no current plan or vision on how it would be obtained.

Why not use them for human consumption?

Another great question! There are already companies that focus on human consumption of carp, most of which flash freeze the fish and then ship them over to Asian markets. Some research has shown the “economic” viability of the human consumption market, however, these studies undermine the time required for a movement of American taste-buds to evolve from existing negative consumer opinions of carp to one that wants to eat them. Essentially, no one is currently interested in eating them and existing products have been slow to take off. Focusing on Asian Carp for fishmeal offers both scalability & impact. Our feeds offer a solution to maximize the amount of carp processed while increasing the amount of positive impact we can have on both ocean & river biodiversity.

Won’t a bigger feed company jump into the market?

No. How do we know? We asked them!

While the carp invasion is an opportunity for other feed companies to tap into, from a financial & protein-needs standpoint it doesn’t provide one great enough for the scale larger producers would need. Major players in the market need a substantial amount of protein to harvest for their feed operations. While there are plenty of carp, the time, R&D, and costs wouldn’t be worth a major firm to invest into. However, as a small company focused on a niche market within the aquaculture industry we can take advantage of the Asian Carp invasion no problem.

 

campaign launches November 5th

Contact Nobilis Aqua Team