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The problem we're solving
Overfishing and climate change have allowed sea urchins populations to explode, decimating the world’s kelp forests. In Australia, native species have destroyed the ancient kelp forests in New South Wales, Tasmania and the seagrass meadows in Victoria. After overgrazing their main food source, the urchins starve and become empty. These urchins remain in place and prevent kelp forest regrowth, resulting in urchin barrens – a lifeless, desert-like state where virtually no marine life is supported anymore.
Urchinomics’ aquaculture technologies turn these ecologically destructive urchins into premium seafood, or “uni”, which creates an economic incentive to remove them from the sea floor. This in turn helps to restore kelp forests, bringing back marine life, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and protection from wave related erosion and ocean acidification. The urchins themselves are then ranched and sold to seafood distributors and restaurants. Sea urchin demand continues to rise globally, resulting in record breaking prices year after year since 2013.
As our business model restores marine ecosystems, our value proposition transcends sustainable seafood and creates a new category of restorative seafood – where the more we profit the better the environment becomes. Our proprietary feed solutions, aquaculture systems and biological know-how, allow us to produce consistent, predictable, year-round, premium quality uni, all while restoring the oceans. Our strategic partnerships with ENEOS in renewable energy, NTT East Japan in AI and IoT development, as well as a major Japanese shipping company in low-carbon transport, further add to our competitive advantage.
We launched the world’s first commercial scale urchin ranch in Japan, with 4 more sites around the world under development. Our ranched urchins have achieved better prices than wild caught “uni”, and have been validated by sushi restaurants and seafood retailers in Ginza, Tokyo, as well as top Michelin starred restaurants around the world. Further, as we have raised our Series A round with some of the world´s largest investors, we are now looking for region specific, value-adding partners to help us profitably restore ocean ecosystems, faster.