Sustainable Commercial-Scale Aquaculture

Aquaculture site

By Bob Brewer on Unsplash

Sustainable Commercial-Scale Aquaculture
SectorMost major industry classification systems use sources of revenue as their basis for classifying companies into specific sectors, subsectors and industries. In order to group like companies based on their sustainability-related risks and opportunities, SASB created the Sustainable Industry Classification System® (SICS®) and the classification of sectors, subsectors and industries in the SDG Investor Platform is based on SICS.
Food and Beverage
Food and Agriculture
Business Model Description

Invest in commercial-scale aquaculture to improve value added production in the fisheries sector and reduce waste generated through post-harvest losses.

The aquaculture industry in Sri Lanka was launched in the early 1980s, with investment from large and mid-scale multinational companies. Activities in this space were highly concentrated in shrimp farming in the mangroves, salt marshes, and brackish water areas. In 2018, the country had ~1400 shrimp farms and 70 hatcheries (17) Examples of companies active in the IOA space:

Oceanpick founded in 2011 is Sri Lanka’s first offshore oceanic farm for finfish, rearing in pristine waters off the northeast shores. It focuses on “responsible farming” that is highly sustainable, producing high-quality seafood, while offering food security and tractability throughout the supply chain. (3)

Taprobane Seafood, established in 2010, is a USD 100 million dollar company. The company has 16 processing facilities, employing over 2,000 direct employees throughout the Northwestern and Northern Provinces. Taprobane Seafood Group is also one of Sri Lanka’s largest export groups, pioneering in raw, processed and value-added seafood exports (5). In 2021, Atman Group made a strategic investment to facilitate Taprobane's growth.

Aqua Hatcheries Lanka (now known as Aqua ‘N Green Ltd) was incorporated in 1991 and is a supplier of post larvae to farmers and has transformed into one of Sri Lanka's most technologically advanced organizations by initiating marine fish breeding and farming, and introducing environmentally sustainable farming models (4) It was part of Integrated Aquaculture Project (2010-2013) by USAID for Sea bass farming in Trincomalee.

Expected Impact

Commercial scale aquaculture to improve livelihoods with higher revenue through ensuring more products, diversification and local value addition.

Indicative ReturnDescribes the rate of growth an investment is expected to generate within the IOA. The indicative return is identified for the IOA by establishing its Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Return of Investment (ROI) or Gross Profit Margin (GPM).
Ranges between 15 – 40% depending on the species/ technology/quality of feed/land cost
Investment TimeframeDescribes the time period in which the IOA will pay-back the invested resources. The estimate is based on asset expected lifetime as the IOA will start generating accumulated positive cash-flows.
Short Term (0–5 years)
Market SizeDescribes the value of potential addressable market of the IOA. The market size is identified for the IOA by establishing the value in USD, identifying the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) or providing a numeric unit critical to the IOA.
> USD 1 billion
Average Ticket Size (USD)Describes the USD amount for a typical investment required in the IOA.
> USD 10 million
Direct ImpactDescribes the primary SDG(s) the IOA addresses.
Life Below Water (SDG 14)
Indirect ImpactDescribes the secondary SDG(s) the IOA addresses.
Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12) Zero Hunger (SDG 2) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9)
Sector Sources
  • 1) Department of Census and Statistics (2022). National Account 2015 Base. 2) Department of Census and Statistics (2022). Quarterly Report of the Sri Lanka Labor Force Survey - Second Quarter 2021. 3) About Oceanpick - 4) Aquaculture in Sri Lanka - 5) About Taprobane - "6) National Nutrition Policy (2010)- 7) A Study on Sri Lanka's readiness to attract investors in Aquaculture - 8) FAO Country Profile - 9) NARA post harvest losses -,even%20to%20make%20dry%20fish.
IOA Sources
  • 10) NAQDA Fish production statistics - 11) Towards Improved Livelihoods and Higher Revenues From Sustainable Fisheries in Sri Lanka World Bank - 12) Norway and FAO to strengthen fisheries sector in Sri Lanka through responsible use of fisheries and aquaculture resources - 13) Priorities for Sustainably Managing Sri Lanka’s Marine Fisheries, Coastal Aquaculture, and the Ecosystems That Support Them, World Bank, 2021 - 14) Minsitry of Fisheries - Fisheries in Sri Lanka - 15) Fisheries Statistics - 2021 Ministry of Fisheries - 16) Income tax exemptions proposed for fisheries - 17) Open Ocean Aquaculture in Sri Lanka- EDB- 18) Central Bank of Sri Lanka (2022). Annual Report 2021. 19) Drengstig A, Bergheim A, Braaten B, Jenssen JE, Sandvik A (2003) Feasibility study for full-scale implementation of new shrimp farming technology under commercial conditions in Sri Lanka 20) Shrimp aquaculture as a vehicle for Climate Compatible Development in Sri Lanka. The case of Puttalam Lagoon, 2015 - 21) National Aquaculture Sector Overview Sri Lanka - 22) Shrimp farming: A multi-billion dollar industry, 2022 -