Protecting our planet’s wild places

Wildtype is on a mission to create the cleanest, most sustainable seafood on the planet. So, why did we just partner with The Conservation Fund to help protect the world’s largest wild salmon run?

Part of the answer goes way back to 2016 when we selected Wildtype as our name. For those who might remember biology class, scientists regularly compare what they’re studying to what exists in nature: the wildtype. To us, Wildtype is a call to action to create a new source of the delicious, pure foods that come from planet Earth’s pristine wild places. It also set us on a path to not get lost in the sea of sameness of companies claiming to be “sustainable,” instead putting that mission into motion in tangible ways.

Photo by Jason Ching

When we heard that The Conservation Fund was partnering with the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust and the Pedro Bay Corporation (an Alaska Native village corporation) to protect 44,000 acres of breathtaking salmon habitat in Alaska, we were hooked.

This region is home to the largest wild salmon fishery in the world and supports over 15,000 jobs. This project places conservation easements on the land, restricting development (e.g., the Pebble Bay mine), and protecting the watersheds that support the incredible returns of sockeye salmon every year that are so important to Native Alaskan people and the broader Alaskan economy.

Photo by Jason Ching

While Wildtype does not depend on wild fish to make our cultivated seafood, we have a deep passion to protect wild places such as these. Salmon are a keystone species that feed eagles, bears, and even the trees in the majestic wild places such as Bristol Bay. In this time of deep political differences, it is a breath of fresh air to work on something that almost every American values: protecting our wild places for sport, camping, and exploring. So many of us have stood in wonder at the rim of the Grand Canyon, the edge of Yellowstone’s geysers, and under Utah’s otherworldly Arches. This project adds yet another natural place that is being set aside for cultural, recreation, and subsistence activities for generations to come

Given the incredible growth in demand for seafood, we recognize that it’s more important than ever to protect the last few functioning fisheries to meet the demand for nutritious animal protein. Although we are excited to introduce Wildtype salmon in restaurants around the United States soon, it will take time to scale our technology.

Even at scale, we cannot possibly meet the 178 million tons of annual aquatic animal production alone. All of us, responsible fishing groups, makers of plant-based proteins, and cultivated seafood must succeed together if we’re to have a shot at meeting the growing demand for protein while also protecting our wild places.

For that reason, we’re proud to announce that through the support of our community, we’ve helped The Conservation Fund successfully raise the $20M needed to protect this incredible place for generations to come. A big thank you to everyone who opened your hearts and checkbooks to support this conservation initiative.

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