Ocean 14 Capital Fund invests in alternative seabed harvesting

A global platform funding efforts to reduce oceanic habitat destruction caused by seafood harvesting has surpassed its €150 million goal.

Following a recent €20million investment from Convex Group Limited, Ocean 14 Capital Fund now plans to hit €200 million by the end of this year. Money is channelled into a number of project and firms focused on improving the health of the world’s seas. 

According to co-founder Chris Gorell Barnes, the Fund is now on course to increase its portfolio by 20 to 25 businesses within the next three years. Recent examples of recipient organisations include SyAqua, a shrimp-breeding technology specialist, and AION, a Norwegian plastics management platform. 

Tilabras, a Brazilian tilapia producer, one of the world’s most sustainable forms of animal protein, has also received an investment. As has The Kingfish Company, a Dutch yellowfin producer, and Ava Ocean, a technology and seafood company dedicated to changing seabed harvesting methods to protect vulnerable underwater ecosystems and vital carbon sinks. 

Dredging, the most widely used method of seabed harvesting, has been proven to devastate marine ecosystems, with many species now critically endangered as a result. While this is banned in some countries, including Norway, it is hoped that y developing more environmentally-friendly techniques that offer similar yields more fisheries will reject older, damaging practices. 

‘The fact that the Fund has surpassed its initial goal of €150 million shows how important this issue has become to so many people globally and how highly the Fund is thought of,’ said Barnes. ‘We believe that the Fund’s strategic investment in Ava Ocean is significant. The global export market for scallops is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, but most of the scallop fishing industry uses dredging methods which have a devastating effect on seabed ecosystems and biodiversity.

‘The technology developed by Ava Ocean can be rolled out on a global scale and could put an end to harmful seabed practice forever,’ they continued. ‘Over the next few years, the Fund aims to invest in many more companies that are all playing a part in saving the oceans. We want the blue economy to become mainstream as ocean health has a direct positive impact for consumers and commerce globally. The Fund is now aiming for investment of €200 million and as its advisers, we are confident that target will be met in the coming months’. 

More on oceans: 

The age of wind-powered shipping returns

New North Sea oil gas licenses threaten marine protection areas

Plymouth seagrass restoration project lays more roots

Marine Week 2023: Ocean conservation needs a sea change

Image: Ava Ocean / Ocean 14 Capital Fund


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