Our mission is to produce the highest quality fish anywhere, mindful of our people, community, the animals in our care, and the environment.

An alternative to the importation of fish raised in high-density cages

Europe suffers from a huge seafood supply/demand imbalance. Ninety percent of the seabass and seabream consumed in Portugal is imported, primarily from large-scale aquaculture production in Greece, Spain, and Turkey. Industrial scale aquaculture, using high-density cages offshore, although efficient, does not meet certain standards of sustainability and animal welfare. European seabass and gilthead seabream grow naturally in the wild in estuaries and inlets, not in the open sea. NaturaFish answers the supply/demand imbalance, protecting wild stocks AND using natural farming methods that ensure animal health and wellbeing, with a positive impact on the environment

Environmental integration:

The Company’s facilities are harmoniously integrated into the Alvor Natura 2000 bird sanctuary waterway. The fishponds are old, converted salt ponds dug in the ground and built with native materials. The facilities were designed to blend in with the natural environment, mindful of the local flora and fauna, including the farm’s neighboring birds. Aerial cables were removed and replaced with under and on-ground cables. The ponds are covered with nets to maintain the safety of both fish and birds.

Water Quality

Ponds and waterways were designed for efficient water management and 100% water renovation every 24h with the tidal exchange. Critical variables such as water quality, flow, renovation, and oxygenation are actively monitored, managed, and controlled 24/7. Constant water renovation allows for the naturally manageable dilution of waste discharged into the estuary waterways, which at low levels of concentration are used as nutrients with minimal impact on the ecosystem.

Ecosystem Equilibrium

The farm’s operations promote ecosystem equilibrium. Water from all 19 of the farm’s ponds is completely renewed each day with the tidal exchange. Water released back into the estuary is rich in nutrients that promote the development of microalgae that feed the shellfish farmed elsewhere in the estuary and provide nutrients at the head of the food chain. Equilibrium is maintained by the symbiotic activity of fish and shellfish farming in the same ecosystem.

Animals wellbeing

The fish swim freely in large, one-ha ponds dug in the estuary where they grow naturally as wild. Water oxygen levels are carefully monitored. Supplemental feed (in addition to live feed that comes in naturally with the tidal exchange) is delivered automatically, following a careful plan that considers various factors, such as size, lifecycle stage, climate, and growth. Different feed formulas are used in response to pathological risks. Water quality, the main driver of disease prevention, is carefully monitored and is maintained primarily through constant renovation. Essential oils are used to treat certain health conditions and as anesthetics to numb the fish to reduce handling stress, during sampling, for instance.

Special techniques are used to cause minimal stress during harvest, resulting in minimal animal suffering and release of low levels of adrenaline, as well as improved preservation of natural flavors and increased shelf life while fresh.

Sustainable Feed

NaturaFish has a strong commitment to the use of sustainable animal feed. In partnership with Aquasoja, the Company is leading the development of a new type of fee.The Company is also using vegetable sources and alternative omega-3 and fatty acid sources as feed ingredients. In addition to supplemental feed, fish raised in the NaturaFish estuary ponds benefit from live feed that comes in naturally with each tidal exchange, twice daily. This combination of supplemental and natural feed optimizes the health of the fish, making it practically indistinguishable from the highest quality wild fish, in taste, texture, color, and form.

Employment Cration

The Company creates permanent, year-round quality jobs in a region with chronic underemployment and double-digit unemployment due to its heavy reliance on seasonal tourism. The Company invests heavily in R&D. Our Team includes specialists in marine biology, pharmacy, nutrition, and ocean sciences. Additionally, we have several R&D partnerships with suppliers, research institutions, and academia, employing PhDs and other highly skilled professionals.