Read a recent profile of Nocera Inc. here
Nocera Inc. CEO Jeff Cheng rang the Nasdaq Stock Exchange closing bell Sept. 29 as part of the celebratory recognition of the company’s official NASDAQ listing.
The Tawainese company has recently sailed to its stardom partly through its emphasis on “budget fish” like tilapia and catfish.
Tilapia has traditionally been considered a budget fish that has seen increasing popularity over the years. It has become the second-most farmed fish and is both imported and farmed domestically in the U.S. Since 2017, the price of tilapia exports has increased from around $4.81 per kilogram to $5.23 per kilogram.
Tilapia saw record high prices in 2021 with U.S. consumption remaining high even as Asian exports faltered. And even as finfish drive the fresh fish price rise in 2022, tilapia prices outdistanced all other finfish, seeing a whopping 37% increase in July compared with last year.
Consequently, some businesses see an opportunity to fish for bigger profits by increasing domestic tilapia production. In 2021, the U.S. imported over 3 million metric tons of edible fish, its largest imports on record.
Riding the wave of this growth is Nocera Inc. NCRA through its recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) tanks. Using more cost-friendly materials to produce tanks that can be constructed in a matter of hours, Nocera gives small fish farms the ability to be competitive in the market. Its high-density tanks can hold 22,000 pounds per year of catfish or tilapia, which yields $25,000 to $50,000.
Other companies that use RAS fish farms, like Aquabounty Technologies Inc. AQB Atlantic Sapphire ASA AASZF and Blue Star Foods Corp. BSFC, dedicate them to premium products like salmon and crab.
The rise of the split-pond system increased the density at which catfish could be farmed, with one expert describing catfish as “entering a new era.” Mississippi farmers - where the most domestic catfish are produced - are seeing record prices for their fish.
However, industry struggles, including transportation costs and decreasing pond acreage, mean that farms still need to increase efficiency. The innovative RAS tank technology is bringing this further stage of development through its protective, managed ecosystem that reduces both landmass and waste.
Nocera Is Expanding To Meet Demand For These Fish
Nocera continues to stretch its fins and expects to construct 500 new units by the end of the year, something only made possible by its strong margins. Its tanks produce 80 times more than traditional fish farms while recycling 90% of the water used. This makes its product a more affordable option for small fish farmers.
Swimming against the industry current has helped Nocera thrive. From a revenue of $1.8 million in 2020, the company saw a significant jump to $9.9 million in 2021. In the first six months of 2022 it saw year-on-year growth of 82% from 2021, bringing in $5.1 million.
However, Nocera's mission is not just about making a profit, it is about transforming the landscape of fish farming. Perhaps the closing notes of the Nasdaq bell were not just ringing out a day of trading but ringing in a new era of sustainable fishing.
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