Aquaculture for all

Urchinomics steps up New Zealand operations

Restorative aquaculture Seaweed / Macroalgae People +6 more

Urchinomics, the pioneering venture in urchin ranching and kelp restoration, has announced the appointment of Maru Samuels as its new in-country lead for New Zealand.

A man standing in an office.
Maru Samuels will lead Urchinomics' expansion in New Zealand

In this newly established role, Samuels will spearhead the development of urchin ranching operations using Urchinomics' proprietary system to address the growing issue of kina (urchin) barrens in New Zealand.

With a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years working with iwi (tribes) and New Zealand seafood companies, as well as indigenous fisheries interests in the South Pacific, Samuels has been instrumental in driving research-based transformation, innovation, and advocacy in fisheries.

Having been actively involved in the successful Envirostrat pilot project to establish the viability and taste of ranched kina in New Zealand, Samuels is perfectly positioned to drive the next phase of the project to carry out the commercialisation and scale up of the kina ranching facilities.

"Urchinomics presents a distinctive, and exciting, global proposition with a proven history of performing at the intersection of ecology, premium seafood, aquaculture, and community. I am excited to continue my engagement in New Zealand as part of this remarkable global initiative and look forward working closely with other In-Country leads in the USA, Canada, Norway and Japan,” Samuels said.

Giles Cadman, chairman of Urchinomics said: “I am delighted Maru has accepted the role. He is a great team player, and brings the local knowledge and understanding we need to succeed in our mission of working with communities and stakeholders to restore New Zealand’s coastal ecosystems.”

Samuels will collaborate closely with Perry Bevin, CEO of Urchinomics, in his new role. Perry expressed gratitude for securing Samuels as the newest addition to the Urchinomics global team: "Similar to many regions worldwide, New Zealand has long grappled with the challenges posed by urchin barrens, and Maru is undeniably the ideal person to lead a solution tailored to New Zealand's distinctive ecological and indigenous landscape."

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