OCEANIUM raises USD 2.6 million to fund seaweed scaling and operations; New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries trials suction-dredging method to remove seaweed

Petri dishes featuring seaweed processed by OCEANIUM

SeafoodSource is closely following seaweed innovation by compiling a regular round-up of updates from the sector.

-OCEANIUM has received a USD 2.6 million (EUR 2.4 million) investment to scale and commercialize its seaweed-processing operations. 

On 14 September, the Oban, Scotland-based seaweed startup announced the investment, which was led by investing group Builders Vision and will be finalized this fall.

“OCEANIUM is about building partnerships with all of our stakeholders from suppliers to commercial partners and, of course, our committed and supportive investors; we are grateful for the ongoing confidence from the impact investment community,” OCEANIUM CEO and Co-Founder Karen Scofield Seal said in a release. “This investment led by Builders Vision will allow OCEANIUM to scale its proprietary technology to meet the growing demand for its innovative seaweed products and to drive systemic change by contributing toward food security, people health, and ocean health.”

Other investors include the World Wildlife Fund, Green Angel Ventures, and new investors from Asia, Europe, and the U.S., the company said.  

“We are delighted that our existing investors, as well as new, highly renowned impact investors, contributed to the success of this financing round. In a short time, we’ve rapidly developed our biorefinery technology. This round helps us to achieve the exciting next step of delivering for our customers,” OCEANIUM CTO and fellow Co-Founder Charlie Bavington said in a release.

-The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries announced a two-week trial of a suction-dredging method to remove the invasive Caulerpa species of seaweed at Aotea Great Barrier Island. 

The trial began the week of 20 September, Dredging Today reported.

“This trial is important and well overdue. We need tools to deal with Caulerpa – a species with the potential to profoundly change some of our most important coastal ecosystems. The proposed trial will be challenging, but we need tools and strategies to control Caulerpa,” University of Otago's Director of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Program Chris Hepburn said. “Quick action to control and eliminate exotic marine species when they are first detected is a real hole in marine biosecurity in New Zealand. I hope this event and this research will help us develop plans and tools that promote action before more expansive and expensive operations are required.”

The process will include the application of chlorine and be contained with mats to test the suction methods. 

“The Aotea suction-dredge trial is an important step in marine invasion management for exotic Caulerpa. We need to understand if we can have an impact on the trajectory of this invasive seaweed,” Cawthron Institute Invasion Ecology and Management Team Leader Ian Davidson said. “This is a positive step toward developing effective tools and methods to reduce its footprint or stop it from establishing in additional locations. Using the best information available about the site, we have designed a robust approach to answer key questions about efficacy, efficiency, logistics, and non-target impacts.”

-Biddeford, Maine, U.S.A.-based Atlantic Sea Farms has announced new branding to put a spotlight on the company's partner seaweed farmers.

The rebranding will include scannable QR codes that guide consumers to videos and interviews that provide them with knowledge on regenerative kelp farming. 

“Now more than ever, consumers are seeking real and transparent connections to the people who grow their food,” Atlantic Sea Farms Chief Marketing Officer Jesse Baines said in a release. “Through our new packaging and interactive content, we are helping consumers connect directly to the family sea farmers growing their food. Right from the package they can learn about a centuries-old maritime heritage, the exciting benefits of farming kelp for our oceans, why kelp is a superfood, and how to cook with it. There’s so much to say about this growing industry, and we knew our customers wanted to better understand what they’re supporting when they choose our brand.”

The rebranding also includes a "where to buy" feature directing consumers to nationwide stores where they can purchase Atlantic Sea Farms products nearby, and an updated recipe section with expansive ideas on how to cook and prepare all nine Atlantic Sea Farms products.

Photo courtesy of OCEANIUM


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