May 29, 2023

Dubai Week

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Biodiversity: How to transform alien species from ecological problem to commercial resource?

  • Kathryn Lightham
  • Business and Finance Correspondent

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Silver carp are an alien fish that have invaded and damaged American rivers, and Canadian officials want to remove them from their waters.

“Invasive” alien species (ie, animal or plant species that are alien to a limited ecological range and invade it and threaten its dominant biodiversity) cause ecological and economic damage worldwide. However, some companies are now starting to see these non-native animals and plants as a business opportunity by using them as a valuable resource that can be exploited.

Caitlin Penn, marketing director at dog food company Wilder Harrier, explains that the company hopes to one day stop making one of its most popular products.

“It may sound strange: steadily selling a product that we believe will be discontinued,” Ben says. “But that’s part of our goal … because we want to make a difference”.

“This includes a production line that will continue – as planned – with a reduction in the supply of its key components,” he added.