The innovation that Pederson had was quite simple: create a world where fish could be farmed, sold, and eaten with good business and natural ethics. The innovation emerged when Pederson realized his passion for not only fishing, but the ocean environment as a whole. The innovation became a reality once he built an aquarium system in his basement using his wife's crystal salad bowl.
In our interview, Pederson explained “My wife believed that I was willing to test our marriage by using her crystal salad bowl… that was the turning point to becoming fully invested into the company.” Pederson used his resources and contacted Pentaire, a pool and spa equipment company that helps maintain these areas and ensure a safe and healthy environment. He wanted to use these water treatment practices for aquaculture. Sooner than later, the two committed to the industry in 2016, began building a facility, started stocking fish in 2017, and selling fish in 2018.
“We are not farmers, we are food producers, marketers, and distributors.” Pederson uses this innovation to be different from his competitors and innovate a new and improved level of farming that distributes luxurious fish while using aquaculture habits that are environmentally and economically ethical.
Ben Long Zuo
Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management
Eric Pederson explains the innovation as a simple way to fix aquaculture. The efficiency of the fish, because they are being fed and treated well, exponentially increases the quality and quantity of fish sold in the economy. Overall, as an innovation, the company makes it a priority to sell the highest quality fish as well as treating the fish ethically correct.
Pederson was inspired because of his passion for fishing and aquaculture. He had the resources to be able to create a system that was manufactured, designed, and engineered to ensure the best possible fish farming known to the market. His innovation meets many of the 17 UN goals. Decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, responsible consumption and production, life below water, and partnership just to name a few. Pederson used these goals and his passions to start up his inspiration. Pederson explained in the interview, “I believe that the ocean industry is small and easy to fix”. His simple mindset to change aquaculture drives his obvious success.
Pederson’s innovation impacted aquaculture as well as the seafood industry. His idea of farming fish on land, giving them perfect living conditions has changed the industry. Specifically, Pederson states, “fish that grow in comfortable water will optimize their growth.” Pederson creates an environment for the fish where they don’t have to hunt their prey, increasing the efficiency of their business.
Ideal Fish have impacted the environment greatly. To not rely on the fish at sea will impact aquatic life greatly. Pederson explained in our interview that traditional sea fishing and sea farming involves netting fish, keeping them in a locked area with dirty waste all around is not only bad for the fish, but the overall environment. Keeping their fish in tanks allows them to eliminate waste, keeping the fish and the environment as healthy as possible. Evidence has shown that the feed conversion ratio of fish in tanks is one to one, but in the ocean is 10 to one. Fish in these tanks spend less time hunting their prey, live in clean water which will optimize their growth.
At the end of the day, Ideal Fish wants to be environmentally sustainable and wants to profit from good ethical practices. They have the resources to expand and become a company that inspires other seafood companies to act similarly. They “want to strengthen their system that is environmentally ethical, contains no antibiotics or drugs, and shortens the food mile that gets to the consumer, which generates return for [his] investors.” Pederson wants to keep partnering with environmentally ethical and sustainable companies in order to encourage other companies to follow UN goals and have ethical habits.
The Ideal Fish RAS Ecosystem revolutionized the aquaculture industry. Through this system, the fish are in an environment where they can live just like they would in nature. The fact that the fish can live happily in addition to the fact that the fish are hormone, GMO, and chemical free means that the quality of the fish is superior compared to other aquaculture systems. The RAS Ecosystem lets nothing go to waste. The fish waste is reused and repurposed as fertilizer which can then be shipped to local farmers. The traditional aquaculture system doesn’t reuse the fish waste, but instead lets it stay in the water where it causes lots of problems for the local ecosystem. All in all, the RAS Ecosystem provides people with affordable and quality fish while being good for the environment.
Eric Pederson, Founder, CEO
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Waterbury, CT, US
Business Website: https://idealfish.com/
Year Founded: 2016
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
The story of Ideal Fish begins with innovative genius Eric Pederson, an entrepreneur who worked in wall street and was passionate about his hobbies. Quickly, he used his hobbies and his finance background to start a fish farming system that would later become what is now a multi-million dollar B corporation company.