Something fishy was happening on the ASX today

It was a fish frenzy for these two ASX-listed shares today, but why?

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Investors must have been hungry to find some fish to put in their portfolios on Tuesday — well, not literally. However, two companies involved in fish farming were getting their fair share of attention on the ASX today.

At the closing bell, shares in takeover target Tassal Group Limited (ASX: TGR) were 0.1% higher to $5.155. That's a new 52-week high for the salmon and prawn producer.

Meanwhile, the much smaller Murray Cod Australia Ltd (ASX: MCA) was an even fresher 12.5% in the green, finishing at 22.5 cents per share.

So, the question is: What has spurred on this recent taste for aquaculture?

Why these fishy shares were ASX winners today

The disastrous unravelling of supply chains amid one global event after another has put greater focus on food supply. Making do without toilet paper for a week might get messy, but going a week without food jeopardises survival.

We only need to look at commodities such as coal to see how costly an unmet demand can be. While Australia produces a huge volume of food that ends up being exported, the country is said to only have five days worth of supply at any given moment.

These concerns could be feeding into renewed investor interest in consumer staples. Prior to Russia invading Ukraine, Tassal shares were trading for $3.65 apiece. Now, the ASX share has a $5.23 per share takeover bid at its feet from Canadian aquaculture giant Cooke Inc.

Similarly, Murray Cod Australia enjoyed a solid session on the ASX today. While perhaps not big enough to be attracting billion-dollar buyouts yet, the company does have a notable feather in its cap.

As reported in The Australian, Murray Cod counts world-renowned chef Heston Blumenthal and his Fat Duck Group as a shareholder.

Murray Cod executive chair Ross Anderson believes the Tassal bid speaks volumes for the industry at large.

Commenting on the development, Anderson said:

It is a vindication of the quality of Australian aquaculture that large protein producers around the world – JBS and Cooke aquaculture – come as far as Australia and are prepared to pay the premiums to acquire those operations.

JBS is a Brazilian company that claims to be the world's largest meat processor. It acquired former ASX company Huon Aquaculture Group Ltd in 2021.

Based on the closing price of Murray Cod on the ASX today, the company touts a market capitalisation of $153 million.

Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler has positions in Tassal Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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