Green Investing in Small Green Fish

by | Dec 12, 2007 | Archives

Green investing and investing in small green fish can help save the planet, your life…not to mention your wealth.

A recent message looked at how best selling book lists can act as a window into a nation’s soul and help you with your investing. In the same way the headlines of USA Today (as the largest selling US newspaper) show how the nation thinks.

I hate this paper…so inaccurate…so focused on the negative…but we subscribe and just glimpse the headlines each day because we know that this shows what’s on the nation’s mind. In a way this almost guarantees that the paper is bad because in the long term betting against the crowd rarely goes wrong.

Yet if you know where the thundering herd is headed and how to find and invest in value…it’s just about impossible to go wrong as is evidenced in a recent USA Today article about Eco fish written by Julie Schmit. The article says:

“Henry and Lisa Lovejoy’s EcoFish has grown to $3 million in annual sales. The company only sells seafood grown or caught in eco-friendly ways.”

The story tells how this couple ran a $20 million-a-year lobster export business in Boston and wanted to stop because the industry had some serious environmental baggage. The couple had a strong level of discomfort being part of an industry that wasn’t managing its resources well.

The article continues:

“Out of that sentiment came EcoFish, an 8-year-old company considered a pioneer in the market of “sustainable” seafood — a movement increasingly embraced by major seafood producers and retailers, including Wal-Mart. EcoFish sells only seafood that is grown or caught in eco-friendly ways. That means the fish producers don’t harm the environment and take no more fish out of the ocean than are born each year. EcoFish, with $3 million in annual sales, is a small fish in the $52 billion U.S. seafood industry. But it’s living proof that seafood companies can make money without harming the environment, says Michael Sutton, director of the Center for the Future of the Oceans at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He sees EcoFish as a company that can pioneer an industry transformation. They’re a drop in the ocean that creates a lot of ripples,’ says Sutton, who serves on EcoFish’s volunteer advisory board.”

Here are some points we can figure out.

#1: People love sea food.

#2: Seafood is running out.

The article points this out when it says, “Conservationists say the sustainability movement for seafood is happening just in time: About 75% of the world’s wild fish stocks already are dubbed depleted or recovering from depletion by the United Nations. Some long-standing consumer favorites, including Atlantic cod and Chilean sea bass, are considered vulnerable to over fishing. Atlantic cod has been so heavily fished that the population is down to its last 10%, says Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which warns consumers on seafood to avoid. “

#3: Too much demand for sea food is a huge global problem.

#4: Big problems create big, global opportunities.

The article shows how this couple is combining solutions to two problems…over fishing and fair trade…by using small family fishermen in Ecuador as well as the US . The article says:

“The Lovejoys first thought they’d abandon the seafood business because of environmental concerns. Then they decided to try to remake it. Based in Dover , N.H. , EcoFish handles a dozen fish species. The six-employee firm started by selling sustainably grown fish to restaurants. Today, 20% of revenue comes from restaurants and 80% from products sold to retailers. They range from frozen shrimp to canned tuna to wild Alaskan salmon entrees. They’re carried in about 3,000 U.S. stores, including natural food stores, Whole Foods (WFMI) supermarkets and Target Supercenters, (TGT) and they cost about 20% more than rival products. EcoFish gets seafood from dozens of family businesses and a few large companies. About 80% of its products come from the USA , largely Alaska . EcoFish also buys from Ecuador and Argentina sources. All producers must be approved by the EcoFish advisory board, which includes Sutton and other conservationists. EcoFish avoids fish that have been heavily fished, such as Chilean sea bass, Atlantic cod and orange roughy. EcoFish producers must also adhere to good fishing practices. For instance, they must limit ‘by catch,’ which is fish or other marine life that get caught with the targeted species. EcoFish’s mahi-mahi, for example, are caught on family-owned boats in Ecuador by single hook and line.”

Here is the type of Ecuador fisherman that benefits from this.

This shot was taken in front of the spa we will visit on our March 2008, Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour.


#5: This trend is still in its initial stages when the opportunity is best. The article points this out:

“EcoFish has supportive financial backers. In the past two years, it’s received $2.5 million in venture capital funding from Sea Change Management, a venture capital fund based in San Francisco . The fund was founded by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, set up by the co-founder of tech giant HP and one of the biggest foundations geared to ocean conservation. The foundation supplied $10 million and Sea Change raised $10 million from private investors. EcoFish was the fund’s first investment. The fund doesn’t just look for good financial returns, but for good conservation returns, too, says Matthew Elliott, the fund’s conservation director. ‘EcoFish was definitely ahead of the sustainability curve,’ he says. He considers EcoFish a ‘soul’ brand, like juice maker Odwalla and ice cream maker, Ben & Jerry’s.”

Yet the potential is large as the big firms want to focus on this as well as the article shows:

“It won’t be alone. A handful of small eco-friendly seafood companies have sprouted in recent years and retailers are pressuring large producers to get on the sustainable bandwagon. Wal-Mart, the No. 1 retailer, said last year that it would, within five years, purchase wild-caught seafood only from fisheries deemed sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. The non-profit is considered the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for sustainable fisheries,” says Sutton. Some of the products that EcoFish carries come from fisheries certified by the marine council. Sutton attended a meeting with seafood producers at Wal-Mart headquarters earlier this year. The producers were all “pledging allegiance” to sustainability, Sutton says. “These are the same people who told me to get lost before.”

#6: The profit comes from the evolution.

I am not sure how industry will resolve the conflict created by two concepts …small sustainable versus mass market. Henry & Lisa can actually adhere to their beliefs while they are small. Usually when Wal Mart gets involved (Wal Mart also sells Horizon Organic Milk) all that is left of the concept is the name, manipulation of standards and some small part of the original idea.

The real opportunity will lie in between. As long as the P word (population) remains untouched the reality of sustainable will be under pressure.

#7: Big ideas problems and solutions manifest themselves in many ways. The real problem is growing demand…more and more people….finite supply (this globe ain’t getting bigger)…so buyers and sellers will have to compromise in so many things…water…energy…textiles…shelter and food such as fish.

Look for what commerce does to resolve this huge issue and you’ll find plenty of opportunity.

We believe that investments in green ideas will create huge returns. To study this thought, in November 2006, I joined with the global investment banking arm of Denmark ’s second largest bank, Jyske Bank to construct and track, in our multi currency portfolio course, a multi currency portfolios that invested in Green business ideas, mainly alternative energy and water purification. In the first year to November 2007 the portfolio rose 266.30%.

Not bad.

In the last month the portfolio dropped -11.43%, but this leaves it up about 250% in 13 months.

Still not bad. Investing in green makes sense.

You can subscribe to our Multi Currency Portfolio Course at the annual fee of $199 here. Subscription form

Until next message may the fish you eat not make you green but help the earth remain that way.


Join us in Ecuador this March with Thomas Fischer and staff of Jyske Bank for our International Business and Investing Course where you can learn more about green multi currency investing.

Here is Steve, our man in Ecuador , with delegates at our last International Business and Investing Course held in the Cotacachi Museum next to el Meson de las Flores .

Join us and meet our sweet staff at El Meson. They really do love making you comfortable, cared for and happy and they really do enjoy their work…even when the hotel is not full. Here are three of the staff, Eduardo, Franklin and Alberto taking time off from serving all of you to restore the upstairs railing to its original finish.

The hotel just gets better and better. The railings before.


After the International Business and Investing Course, join us on our real estate extensions.

First the mystical Andes real estate tour. See lake view house like this that can still be built for under $100,000.

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Then travel to the beach with us for our first 2008 Coastal real estate tour. See houses like this.

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