Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has made its first aquaculture investment by acquiring the largest grower of live mussels in North America, for an undisclosed sum.

Ontario Teachers said it bought Atlantic Aqua Farms from San Francisco-based Encore Consumer Capital, a private equity firm that invests in consumer-products companies.

Andrew Claerhout, senior managing director, Infrastructure and natural resources at Ontario Teachers, said: “Demand for protein is increasing, and in the context of land constraints and environmental considerations, aquaculture is among the most sustainable sources to meet this demand.”

“Atlantic Aqua Farms has built a significant aquaculture platform, underscoring the significant opportunities for long-term growth in this space.”

The deal falls under its natural resources mandate to invest in global food production, the Canadian pension fund said.

Headquartered in Orwell Cove, Prince Edward Island, in eastern Canadian maritime province, Atlantic Aqua Farms is a grower and processor of the Prince Edward Island blue mussel, and also offers a wide selection of branded oysters, clams, and live Maine and Canadian lobster.