How Marine Conservation Startups Are Saving Our Oceans

Coral reefs play a vital role in sustaining ocean life, supporting fishing industries, and generating billions of pounds in revenue each year.

Ocean temperatures have been increasing in recent years, causing significant harm to coral reefs worldwide. This has led to the fourth global mass coral bleaching event, according to the UK National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The NOAA has confirmed that coral stress is widespread across all oceans, including the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean. Scientists from various countries, including the UK, Australia, Kenya, and Brazil, have expressed concern over the threat posed to coral reefs.

Rising sea surface temperatures, caused by human activities that emit warming gases, as well as natural events like El Niño, have contributed to coral bleaching. More than half of the world’s coral has been affected, including iconic sites like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. While there is some hope that deeper-water coral may be more resilient to warming, scientists stress the urgent need for global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve coral reefs for future generations.

Luckily, startups are striving to transform this bleak reality into something that can be beautiful once again.


Marine Conservation Startups Making A Change






rrreefs is an innovative organisation dedicated to addressing the pressing challenges facing coral reefs and marine conservation. Founded in 2020 by Marie Griesmar, Ulrike Pfreundt, Hanna Kuhfuß, and later joined by Josephine Graf, the company operates at the intersection of science, engineering, art, and education.

Using 3D printing technology and distributed production, rrreefs creates intricately designed reef structures to promote coral growth and biodiversity. Their approach incorporates the latest scientific insights and locally sourced materials, aiming to minimise carbon emissions and create job opportunities in ecosystem restoration. Committed to transparency and collaboration, rrreefs collaborates with volunteers, students, and an advisory board of experts to drive positive change for the oceans. With a focus on passion, respect, transparency, and curiosity, rrreefs has garnered recognition and awards for its innovative and scalable approach to marine conservation.


Olokun Minerals



Olokun Minerals is dedicated to sustainable mineral extraction through brine mining, offering solutions to divert harmful wastewater away from ocean ecosystems. The company extracts valuable metals and minerals from salty, mineral-rich wastewater streams. These minerals, including sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, are essential for various industries such as agriculture, construction, and electronics.

By capturing brine waste before it reaches the ocean, Olokun Minerals ensures a sustainable future for both water resources and marine life. Co-founded by Lacey Reddix and Pilanda Watkins-Curry, the company is pioneering a multi-mineral extraction process to reduce waste and promote environmental conservation.


Oceanverse Studios



Oceanverse Studios pioneers a new approach to marine conservation through its metaverse platform. Founded in 2017, Oceanverse addresses the pressing issues of ecosystem loss and climate impact on coastal communities worldwide. Their metaverse blends entertainment, education, and blockchain technology to bring the ocean closer to everyone’s heart and mind.

Players can explore thousands of ocean worlds, play as marine animals, and participate in proactive governance while earning rewards. By connecting real-world ocean data and projects, Oceanverse fosters a global community committed to ocean restoration and conservation.




Seaspire is a food innovation company driven by a passion for sustainability and accessibility. Founded by two Food Scientists, their mission is to create delicious and planet-friendly seafood alternatives using plant-based ingredients.

With a focus on taste, Seaspire’s products are 100% fish-free and made from top-quality ingredients like pea and rice protein, plant fibre, and algal extract. They prioritise transparency and simplicity, ensuring their labels are clean and their products free from additives. Seaspire aims to break barriers and satisfy cravings for seafood lovers of all dietary preferences, offering clean, gut-friendly, and environmentally conscious options for everyone to enjoy.






Seatrec is transforming oceanic data collection with their one-of-a-kind infiniTE™ float. Powered by naturally occurring temperature differences in ocean waters, this float offers infinite power, extending mission life and optimising data capture in an eco-friendly manner.

From seafloor mapping to hurricane prediction, Seatrec’s technology facilitates a wide range of marine conservation efforts. Recognised as a Climate Tech startup, Seatrec’s commitment to sustainability is evident in their clean and renewable energy solutions. With support from investors like Sunstone Management and American Lending Center, Seatrec is poised for impactful growth in the field of oceanic robotics and research.




Plastic-i is revolutionising ocean monitoring through advanced satellite technology and AI. Specialising in marine ecosystem monitoring, they track marine plastic pollution and map critical habitats like seagrass meadows and mangroves. Their innovative solutions provide actionable insights for environmental compliance, policy-making, and conservation efforts.

With a track record of awards and partnerships with leading organisations, Plastic-i is committed to evidence-based decision-making and sustainable marine management. Co-founded by James Doherty, Donal Hill, and Jack Lidgley, the team combines expertise in Earth observation, data science, and hi-tech entrepreneurship to drive positive change for our oceans.


Origin by Ocean


Origin by Ocean is a Finland-based platform-driven algae refining company focused on marine conservation. By harnessing micro and macroalgae, they transform marine overgrowth into oil-free ingredients for everyday products, combating eutrophication and benefiting biodiversity. With a mission aligned with UN Agenda 2030, they work towards sustainable development goals, including eradicating hazardous chemicals, promoting economic growth, and reducing marine pollution.

Co-founded by Mari Granström, Heikki Heiskanen, and Régi Delatouche, the company boasts a team of activists dedicated to sustainable values and innovative solutions for ocean health. Origin by Ocean collaborates with partners like Kiilto, Marimekko, and KPMG to create functional goods and materials while actively replenishing marine ecosystems.


Ocean Oasis



Ocean Oasis offers a sustainable solution to freshwater scarcity with its innovative offshore desalination plants. Powered solely by wave energy, these mobile units produce potable water, scalable to meet the needs of cities or remote communities.

With a zero-emission approach and flexible deployment, Ocean Oasis aims to revolutionise the desalination industry, providing affordable and environmentally friendly freshwater solutions. Their commitment to sustainability addresses pressing global challenges, offering hope for water-stressed regions and industries. Led by a dedicated team, Ocean Oasis represents the future of seawater desalination, with a vision to enhance water accessibility while preserving marine ecosystems.


Seawater Solutions


seawater solutions

Seawater Solutions combats climate change and restores degraded coastlines. Founded in 2017 by Yanik Nyberg and Nicholas Shell, the company addresses ecosystem loss and salinisation affecting coastal communities globally.

Their Regenerative Seawater Agriculture (RSA) system, operational in over four countries, regenerates land within three years, outpacing conventional restoration methods. This circular system manages water, crops, and indigenous agronomic practices efficiently. With over 40 products including aquacultures and salt-tolerant crops, RSA systems tackle various climate and environmental challenges, from coastal erosion to carbon emissions.




Reefy specialises in reef engineering to protect coastal communities and marine ecosystems. Their patented Reef Enhancing Breakwater (REB) combines engineering and biology, offering stable modular artificial reefs that dissipate wave energy while fostering biodiversity.

With rising sea levels and increased storm intensity threatening coastal areas, Reefy’s solution addresses the urgent need for climate-proof infrastructure. Led by coastal engineer Jaime Ascencio and marine biologist Leon Haines, Reefy’s mission aligns with their core values of large-scale impact and respect for nature. By rewilding the ocean, Reefy aims to protect both people and marine life from the impacts of climate change.


Anemo Robotics


Anemo Robotics steers innovative technology for assessing marine biodiversity. With professional underwater cameras and AI fish detection software, they monitor species around offshore structures up to 40 metres deep. Recognised as UK’s Best University Start-Up, their commitment to sustainability aligns with regulatory requirements.

Through successful pilot tests in the UK and Denmark, Anemo Robotics builds strong client relationships, exemplified by partnerships with ARC Marine. Led by a multidisciplinary team from DTU, including CEO Nejc Novak and AI specialist Simon Madsen, Anemo Robotics aims to empower informed decision-making for ocean stewardship.