AgriProtein has set up camp in North America with the aim of building 20 fly farms in the United States and Canada in pursuit of its global target of 100 fly farms by 2024 and 200 by 2027.

The company, which describes itself as the world's biggest fly-farmer and first commercial-scale insect meal producer, is aiming to mass-produce sustainable animal feeds to replace fishmeal used in aquaculture, agriculture and petfood.

It set up a North American team to develop the business and to build an R&D capability.

Headed by Jon Duschinsky, it will identify suitable locations and licensing partners for fly-farm operations in US and Canada.

"With supplies of fishmeal dwindling we’re moving as quickly as we can to bring insect protein into the mainstream of animal feed," said Jason Drew, co-founder and CEO at AgriProtein.

Replacing fishmeal with insect meal "allows our oceans to heal, reduces greenhouse gases at every stage of the supply chain from point-of-catch to point-of-sale and leaves more fish in the sea for humans," he said.

AgriProtein has allocated several international licenses to use its technology in Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. Last week the company signed an agreement to build three fly farms in Saudi Arabia.

In February, it announced a partnership with Austrian engineers Christof Industries enabling it to roll out its fly factory blueprint on a turnkey basis anywhere in the world at the rate of 25 per year -- more than two per month.

In January, AgriProtein entered the Cleantech Global Top 100 and earlier in March won a CleanEquity award for its environmental technology research presented by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

In December last year, the company won an AUD 450,000 (€319,335/$344,588) award for its industrially-scalable solution to the depletion of fish stocks in the Indian Ocean in the Australian government-backed Blue Economy Challenge.