When Leonardo DiCaprio accepted his first Oscar, he took that moment to highlight climate change and the world's responsibility to act. The actor practices what he preaches: He recently joined LoveTheWild, the environmentally friendly fish company, as an investor and advisory board member.
"Seafood is a primary source of protein for nearly a billion people--but climate change, acidification, and over-fishing are putting increased pressure on our oceans' natural stability," says DiCaprio in a statement announcing his investment.
LoveTheWild is a sustainable aquaculture company that also sells freshly frozen seafood kits and aims to find responsible ways to feed the planet's growing population. The company was co-founded by Jacqueline Claudia and Christy Brouker in 2014, with the hope of giving customers a protein source that didn't generate the levels of greenhouse gas that other meat production does.
"We can change to healthy benefits all by choosing something better for dinner," says Claudia, 42, who is also CEO of LoveTheWild. "Just by not choosing beef or pork for dinner twice a week, you can live cleaner and have a healthier impact on your body and the environment."
Claudia says she was always interested in aquaculture -- the farming of aquatic animals and plants in water -- but as a teen, she hated eating the fish her mother prepared. Her opinions changed when she began waiting tables at a local seafood restaurant in college. She said she designed the product for people like herself, who wanted to eat more fish and knew they should, but didn't know how to prepare the meals.
DiCaprio's addition to LoveTheWild, along with the investment fund Aqua-Spark and existing angel investors, is part of the company's $3 million Series A funding round. LoveTheWild also shares DiCaprio's dedication to the environment: the company wants to use aquaculture to fight climate change.
LoveTheWild says aquaculture is the "least environmentally impactful form of animal protein production." What's more, about half of all seafood for human consumption is produced through aquaculture, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On March 1, the company began harvesting all fish from aquaculture (before it used some wild farming to acquire certain species).
"The exploitation of our oceans has left many marine ecosystems on the brink of total collapse, which is hurting our ability to harvest our seas as a reliable food source as we have for thousands of years," says DiCaprio in the statement. "LoveTheWild is empowering people to take action on this crisis in a very meaningful way."
DiCaprio has a long history of fighting for the environment. In 1998, he started his eponymous foundation that aims to protect threatened ecosystems. That organization has donated more then $30 million to 78 high-impact projects since 2010, according to the website.