Blurring Boundaries: Ocean Era's Pursuit to Soften Humanity's Footprint

Ocean Era, under the visionary guidance of Neil Anthony Sims, recognizes the pressing need to satiate the ever-growing global demand for seafood. However, with wild fisheries already stretched thin, the onus lies on cultivating the seafood that global populations yearn for. HOST Park, with its unparalleled access to nutrient-rich deep-sea water, has proven indispensable to Ocean Era's ambitions. Beyond the provision of pristine ocean water, the park's ecosystem encourages innovation, fostering a unique synergy between business aspirations and environmental sustainability. As Ocean Era forges ahead, it doesn't just aim to respond to global climate challenges, but endeavors to be a catalyst for transformative change in seafood production and consumption.

Neil Anthony Sims
CEO | Ocean Era
Video Transcript

I am Neil Anthony Sims. I'm the CEO and founder of Ocean Era, which is an offshore aquaculture research and development company based here at the Natural Energy Lab with global ambitions. Ocean Era had an original mission. We wanted to soften humanity's footprint on the seas, but as there's been increasing awareness of the global climate crisis and the role that Blue Foods could play in that, in helping to alleviate humanity's pressure on greenhouse gases or fresh water use or land conversion, it's not just about humanity's footprint on the seas. We want to be able to soften humanity's footprint. 

One of the beauties about growing seaweed in the tropics is that you can grow it all year round, and so to be able to grow seaweed, you need to be able to provide nutrients for it. One of the beauties of the Natural Energy Lab is that they pump up deep sea water from 2000 to 3000 feet deep out there, and it is loaded with the nitrogen that really drives seaweed growth phenomenally.

If you're an entrepreneur that is interested in developing aquaculture for fin fish, that water clarity, that water quality is like gold and at the Natural Energy Lab, they literally pump it ashore. You can go up to a faucet and open it up and oceanic water quality comes out of that faucet. You can throw a rock from the shore here and hit the open ocean.

As the Earth's population is growing towards 10 billion people and they're becoming increasingly affluent and increasingly health conscious, there's a need for us to be able to produce more seafood. We can't do that from wild stocks. Globally fisheries are already fished at or beyond their maximum sustainable yield, so if we're going to get more seafood to feed these folks that are, are craving this fish and that have the purchasing power for it, it's gotta be fish or seafood that we grow. We have to figure out how to culture the seafood that we crave. People see the need for us to transition from more land-based terrestrial proteins, beef, pork, poultry, to seafood, to fish, or to oysters, or to other bivalves or to seaweed. 

You can't rely on foundations to keep funding the answer to the global climate crisis. It has to come from ways that people can see opportunity to build businesses, and that's why we believe that the for-profit focus of aquaculture R&D is really critical to helping be the change that we want to see in the world. This place, it's this phenomenal crucible of change and dynamism, and I love being part of that. Everybody wants to be able to change the world. We'd be happy if we could be part of a catalyst that helps make that change happen.

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