Jonas Scheurer, Jakob Niemeyer, and Mark Gerban have ambitions beyond building just another frozen seafood order management system.
They founded their company, Clear Sea, three years ago, with the goal of designing an app to facilitate the buying and selling of frozen seafood. It has since become a white label solution used by several companies in the seafood industry, including Regal Springs. But the co-founders of the Hamburg, Germany-based start-up soon adopted an ever bigger goal – tackling overglazing, the top complaint they heard from buyers on their platform.
“While we were building up the platform, we started recognizing there were problems with regard to quality, especially in regard to glazing,” Gerban told SeafoodSource at the 2023 Seafood Expo Global. “One of my areas of specialty is LIDAR, and there’s so much new technology coming out that can do things like determine the depth of Arctic ice using satellites. And we're like, can we make something that's a little bit more accessible, like a dongle you can plug into a phone to detect the glazing level on fish?”
Gerban, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., serves as the company’s chief product officer, serves as the company’s advisor and previously worked at Apple. Scheurer, Clear Sea’s CEO, previously worked as the export sales manager for Hamburger Feinfrost (Hafro), a German importer of frozen seafood. The two met while living in the same building in Hamburg and embarked upon the project of building up Clear Sea with a mission beyond just creating a trading app.
“Glazing standards seem to be fairly inconsistent. They have a huge variance of 1 to 3 percent. I'd like everyone to think about this: you have huge containers of stuff that's being shipped. And if you take a look at the weight on that, that variance has an associated cost, where you're paying to transport water. On top of that you have an environmental impact, a carbon footprint for carrying water across the world,” Gerban said. “It seems like no one is checking for accuracy. For me, it's mind-boggling this is accepted. We want to change that.”
In April 2023, Clear Sea won a German patent for a system that can detect the glazing levels on fish fillets and shrimp with a high level of accuracy. However, Scheurer and Gerban said they don’t want to be in the business of checking the glazing of the seafood sold on their platform themselves. Instead, they’re working on developing handheld mobile technology – something that can be connected via Bluetooth to a cell phone – that can be used by customers to measure and verify their own glazing.
“It's in the very beginning, but that's the way we're going to go,” Scheurer said. “The technology has been proven in other fields, such as windmills, which cannot run if they are covered by too much ice.”
Gerban said two large obstacles stand in the way of Clear Sea’s success. First, current ...
Photo courtesy of Clear Sea