In May, we reported xTV Networks had found a buyer – New Zealand Coastal Seafoods. Today, the deal took effect and the company is trading on the ASX.

xTV was going to be an internet platform allowing companies to create and control their own video, social media and television channel. Now the listed entity specialises in seafood and its specialist is ‘ling maw’ – a fish’s swim bladder.

While the words ‘fish bladder’ may not sound appetising, consumers in Asian markets seem to think otherwise, judging by the company’s sale figures.

The entity made $1.5 million in revenue the last nine months of 2018 and made a small profit of $113,440.

Fish bladder sells

Fish bladder sells because it is healthy and tastes good. Southern China is where the demand comes from – “they associate lots of health benefit as well as it tastes good”, New Zealand Coastal Seafoods says.

Of course, we associate a living being’s bladder as being the last tract of the digestive system but in fish the bladder is an organ that helps it stay bouyant.

Ling are a lean and versatile fish usually found in water depths 200-800 metres.

As a delicacy, and dependent on the species, maw can raise millions on the black market. On the legal markets it can still cost hundreds of dollars.

Better days are ahead

Stockhead spoke with chairman Winton Willesee who told Stockhead he was “excited”.

“We think we’ve got a bright future,” he said. “The vehicle bought some additional benefits, management and investors, some market savviness and the usual advantages of listing.

“We thought doing it this way made for a rounded offering and a better value proposition.”

The company processes fish in Christchurch and acquires its produce from big fishing companies in New Zealand – mostly based in Nelson.

While produce often ended up in China, it usually was sold to Australian or New Zealand distributors.

“We are looking to expand that,” said Willisee, “now we have some money, we can build more of our distribution base.”

Noting the company’s small profit, Willisee declared the company thinks it can “rapidly grow that”.