For those not familiar with fish maw
, it's a fish's swim bladder or the part of the fish that controls their buoyancy. In Chinese food culture, this is considered a healing medicine. It's often purchased as a dried out food, then rehydrated and made into soup for people recovering from illness. Fish maw is one of four delicacies
or 'treasures' in Chinese food culture. (The other three are shark fin, abalone, and sea cucumber.) While not as rare (or controversial) as shark fin, it holds similar cultural capital.
Additionally, they are developing a vegan cell-culture in which to grow the fish cells, thus removing all animals from the food production process. This advancement lowers the price of the consumer product significantly and will make the lab-grown fish suitable to populations who avoid meat but still eat fish. Pending regulations, they hope their first product will be on the market by 2022. Their goal is to start by selling fish maw and later on, launch other types of cellular-grown fish meat.