Lassgard Bioteknik was an aquaculture company headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden. Founded out of Uppsala Science Park in 2021, the company’s research and development was focused on using genetic modification and full-cycle farming to replenish depleted fish stock.
In 2034, Lassgard Bioteknik introduced Lassgard tuna, which became increasingly popular in the Asian seafood market and accounted for roughly 80% of worldwide tuna consumption. In 2039, it was discovered that the company’s feeding practices for Lassgard tuna were the most likely origin of Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD).
As a result of the mass consternation surrounding the CMD pandemic and the public implication of Lassgard Bioteknik, multiple lawsuits were filed against president and CEO William Lassgard. After his reported assassination on October 29th 2039, his board and creditors were forced to manage liquidation proceedings.
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Lassgard Bioteknik was founded on August 5th 2021 in Uppsala, Sweden by William Lassgard. After receiving approval from the Swedish National Food Agency (NFA) in October 2021, Lassgard raised ¥26.2 million in a public offering of shares and an additional ¥7.5 million via crowdfunding for the installation of recirculating aquaculture systems in two warehouses outside Uppsala. In 2024, Lassgard Bioteknik made its first sale of 2.5 tonnes of adult-sized Atlantic halibut. 
While the first generation of Lassgard halibut was being raised, research continued on genetically adapting and preparing other fish species for full-cycle aquaculture, including Atlantic salmon, red sea bream, and Indian mackerel. Lassgard was responsible for choosing these fish species for the Asian seafood market, which had grown to represent close to 70% of global fish consumption by 2025. 
In August 2025, Lassgard Bioteknik announced that it had successfully developed a hybrid Atlantic bluefin tuna by adding two genes from the skipjack tuna, allowing the hybrid species to spawn throughout the year and grow to market size in two to three years. To combine Lassgard tuna with full-cycle aquaculture and bolster its overall operational capacity, Lassgard Bioteknik bought out the multinational TRANSDOTT project in September 2025, refitting its facilities in Malta mainly for the production of Lassgard tuna. 
By 2029, Lassgard Bioteknik owned a 45% share of the global halibut market and exported over half of its entire stock to East Asia. It operated 48 land-based farming sites, 110 coastal seawater sites, four broodstock plants, and four hatcheries, all divided between Sweden and the Mediterranean. Over the following years, the company vertically integrated its supply chain and significantly expanded its operations to include Singapore, Chile, and South Africa. In 2032, the media started including Lassgard Bioteknik in the collective term Big Fish.
In early 2031, Lassgard Bioteknik was having trouble developing its tuna stock and introducing it abroad. A combination of low larvae survival rates and inadequate artificial fish meal had resulted in the company being unable to close its tuna’s aquaculture cycle. After its introduction, Lassgard tuna fetched consistently low marbling grades at seafood marketplaces and was generally reviewed poorly by Asian consumers for its lacking taste. Lassgard Bioteknik found itself struggling to compete with Kindai Fisheries, which had produced the first generation of farmed Pacific bluefin tuna in 2002 and had since remained the chief supplier of farmed tuna in Japan and China with a yearly output of 35,000 tonnes by 2032.
On May 11th 2034, two years to the day since the Atlantic bluefin tuna was officially declared extinct in the wild due to overfishing and anthropogenic climate change, Lassgard made the announcement that his company’s researchers had developed a new artificial feed with a fat-to-protein ratio that surpassed grow-out expectations, allowing Lassgard tuna to acquire additional body fat during its aquaculture cycle. This fattening process made it an ideal choice for ōtoro sushi.
After several endorsements from renowned sushi chefs that highlighted its rich taste, the new Lassgard tuna became a prized commodity at high-end restaurants in Japan, China, and South Korea. Kindai Fisheries responded by briefly experimenting with new artificial feeds to boost its own stock of tuna, but was unable to challenge the Asian market’s newfound preference for fattier Lassgard tuna.
Following its success in East Asia, Lassgard tuna also became popular in specialised dining establishments in Europe and the Americas. Lassgard responded by initiating the sale of residual Lassgard tuna stock to retail outlets in canned form and establishing it as an upscale consumer brand. By 2039, Lassgard Bioteknik accounted for 90% of the Asian tuna market and roughly 80% of worldwide tuna consumption.
Food poisoning scandal
In January 2039, the monthly bulletin of the World Health Organisation (WHO) included a notice against feeding tuna to pets.  This alarm was raised on behalf of Sunil Cariappa, who earlier had discovered a possible link between an increased mortality rate in domestic cats and feeding diets that included Lassgard tuna. The WHO notice ultimately did not mention Lassgard tuna by name due to objections from the Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC).
In July 2039, Cariappa and Connie Muren had joined an Outbreak Control Team (OCT) convened by the WHO’s Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) and determined that Lassgard Bioteknik’s line of tuna was contaminated with a novel prion agent. They described this foodborne illness as piscine transmissible amyloidotic encephalopathy (PTAE) and considered it to be responsible for the epizootic in cats, with further tests demonstrating that it could be transmitted to people as well.
In response, the WHO expanded the scope of the OCT and launched a bid directed at national food agencies to halt the sale of Lassgard tuna pending the team’s investigation. The AAC reacted by posting a public letter to then-WHO Director-General Yang Jinglei, stating that it would “exercise every avenue available to defeat the agenda-driven campaign against Lassgard Bioteknik and expose the dubious nature of Connie Muren’s work, including challenging the European Union’s (EU) [¥535 million] in funding to the WHO.”
While the AAC was lobbying heavily against any attempts to temporarily halt the sale of Lassgard tuna and Lassgard Bioteknik lawyers were holding up legal proceedings in Swedish courts, the company launched an aggressive marketing campaign to reassure consumers and shareholders that its tuna was safe to eat. When sales of Lassgard tuna nonetheless dipped by 2.6% during the investigation, Lassgard Bioteknik began undermining public trust in the WHO by claiming there were divisions and a lack of consensus within the OCT, giving the appearance of a scientific controversy where there was none.
On October 10th 2039, a data cache of confidential Lassgard Bioteknik documents and internal correspondence dating back to 2030 was leaked to Anse Daems, who was working on a World News Wire (WNW) story about Lassgard Bioteknik’s use of disinformation. After the files were carefully reviewed, WNW ran a series of articles, starting on October 23rd 2039, in which it established a timeline of Lassgard Bioteknik’s malpractice and accused Big Fish as a whole of orchestrating “the most heinous disinformation campaign since climate change denial.”
The articles exposed how Big Fish had come together in an informal pact to protect Lassgard Bioteknik and the larger aquaculture industry. This pact included a disinformation campaign against Cariappa and Muren, enlisting the AAC to minimise the WHO investigation, and the funding of environmental studies in favour of farmed fish and toxicological studies that declared Lassgard tuna safe for human consumption. 
Timeline of cover-up
The data leak revealed that Lassgard Bioteknik had been aware as early as March 2037 that its tuna stock was exhibiting erratic behaviour due to the PTAE epizootic. The cause was initially attributed to the challenging nature of handling tuna in aquaculture farms. Smart lighting systems were present for dusk and dawn simulation to reduce stress of the tuna, and Lassgard Bioteknik spent ¥4.2 million on revising these systems, as their inefficacy was believed to be responsible for the tuna’s unusual behaviour.
When the tuna then began dying off after the erratic behaviour progressed unabated, it was believed that the culprit was actually a parasitic encephalitis caused by Miamiensis avidus. , prompting Lassgard Bioteknik to install additional disinfection and filtration systems after increased site fallowing between farming cycles. This strategy also proved ineffective at curbing the tuna mortalities, which led to reduced production quotas and a concurrent drop in Lassgard Bioteknik’s share price in late 2037.
Ultimately, the decision was made to outfit all Lassgard tuna farms with smart cameras that made use of algorithms to track individual fish and accurately detect the behavioural anomalies that preindicated increased suicidal tendencies and death.  Since it took approximately two to three years for Lassgard tuna to reach market size and the anomalies only started appearing after two years, Lassgard Bioteknik began processing and shipping its tuna as soon as the algorithms signalled the ideal window between adequate growth size and onset of symptoms.
After the WHO established a conclusive link between Lassgard Bioteknik and the outbreak of Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD), public opinion turned against the company. The WHO was able to successfully ban the sale of Lassgard tuna in October 2039, which caused the company’s share price to plummet. At the same time, multiple lawsuits and class actions were filed against Lassgard’s person by different governments and consumer organisations, which were funnelled into joint proceedings through the EU’s collective redress policy. Lassgard became the public target of this legal campaign because, while Lassgard Bioteknik was subjected to a number of corporate fines, no criminal charges could be brought against the company.
On October 29th 2039, Lassgard was reportedly assassinated, leaving Lassgard Bioteknik’s chair Nils Törbacka to handle the backlash. Törbacka immediately issued a statement in which he condemned the data leak as a “massive forgery” and dismissed the role of Lassgard tuna in the CMD pandemic as “at most, a contributing factor.”  The statement was widely ridiculed, but Törbacka doubled down and refused to cooperate with Swedish and international authorities. After he ignored an order from the WHO to shut down Lassgard Bioteknik’s facilities in Europe and East Asia, many of which had already suffered employee walkouts, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) concluded Lassgard Bioteknik was so fraught with problems that it had to be seized.
On November 4th 2039, the FSA appointed a liquidator and coordinated with international regulators to simultaneously lock down Lassgard Bioteknik’s offices and aquaculture farms. Törbacka and other senior officials were arrested by Swedish police when the company’s head office in Uppsala was raided, which revealed that Törbacka had been stalling authorities in order to sell off Lassgard Bioteknik’s remaining tuna stock to willing illicit market buyers.
This paved the way for Lassgard Bioteknik’s formal liquidation in the winter of 2039. All company assets were forfeited to pay out creditors and cover legal costs, though with the aquaculture industry as a whole facing widespread criticism and insolvency, most of Lassgard Bioteknik’s fish farming facilities were dismantled rather than sold off. Major litigation ended when the liquidation process was completed on February 4th 2040, but regular suits and legal actions related to the food poisoning scandal are still being brought.
- Iverson, Q. (August 2024). “Lassgard Bioteknik reports successful spawning of Atlantic halibut.” Hatchery International. ↩
- United Nations. (July 2025). “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2025.” Food and Agriculture Organisation. ↩
- St. Paul, D.C. (April 2025). “EU Commission lifts cap for tuna farming in Malta.” Undercurrent News. ↩
- World Health Organisation. (January 2039). “Increased cat mortality linked to tuna diets.” Bulletin of the World Health Organisation. ↩
- Daems, A. (October 2039). “Lassgard tuna linked to Cariappa-Muren disease in massive data leak.” World News Wire. ↩
- Munday, B; O’Donoghue, P; Watts, M et al. (July 1997). “Fatal encephalitis due to the scuticociliate Uronema nigricans in sea-caged, southern bluefin tuna Thunnus maccoyii.” Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. ↩
- Daems, A. (October 2039). “Lassgard Bioteknik used AI-powered wildlife cameras to diagnose individual tuna.” World News Wire. ↩
- Törbacka, N. (October 2039). “A message from Lassgard Bioteknik’s interim CEO: We will right this ship.” Lassgardbio.se. ↩