Ondine Oceanfarm Ltd
Powell River, Vancouver Island/Coast
In Business Since 2020
Ondine Oceanfarm Ltd
Powell River, Vancouver Island/Coast
Ondine Oceanfarm is a regenerative oceanfarm located in the pristine waters of the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. We grow oysters, scallops, mussels, clams and kelp. Our farm creates habitat for 200+ marine species including the endangered sunflower sea star. Without the use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or freshwater, our farm produces 16x more protein than a chicken farm. The kelp we grow annually sequesters 5,600Kg of carbon dioxide and 478lbs of nitrogen. We have allied ourselves with seafood and ocean advocacy leaders including Skipper Otto, Nada, Oceanwise, and Greenwave. This year we are participating in Greenwave and Patagonia’s Kelp Climate Fund. In the broader business community we have worked with Vancity on our seafloor clean up and the Sunshine Coast Credit Union as their SDG business ambassador. Our farm is 6.6 acres of deepwater longline. These lines support suspended equipment vertically to access the full water column. Oysters are continuously harvested while mussels, clams and scallops are harvested in the spring and fall. Unlike land farming our products do not have the overhead cost of fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, feed or hormones. We have sold direct to consumers in the past, however we are currently focusing on selling wholesale. Our main customers are Skipper Otto, Evening Cove, Hog Island and Fanny Bay Oysters. Our goal is to have our own processing facility that will allow us to sell direct to consumer, retail and wholesale to local restaurants. Ondine Oceanfarm is committed to the vision of building a regenerative ocean farming movement on the BC West Coast. We believe that food is an essential part of culture and community and the surrounding environment. Our vision is for shellfish to become an essential part of coastal diets, stitching community and culture into the fabric of ocean health. Within the shellfish farming community, we want to see the industry thrive through improved market access. As it stands, shellfish is a largely extractive industry, wherein the communities we live in do not receive the benefits of our products and we live outside the fabric of our neighbors. In my community, 1 in 4 families are food insecure, but I cannot sell my product locally. We aim to build the food processing infrastructure necessary for improved market access throughout the region and make it available to other shellfish farmers and fishermen
Business Impact Award
Tell Us Your Story. What motivated you to start your business? Why are you passionate about what you do?
I started this journey because regenerative ocean farming was the only job I could find that lay at the intersection of my passion for ocean life, my desire to work outside in wild spaces, and to work to address our food relationship with the ocean. But I stay with this path because it has provided me with a unique opportunity to live in a beautiful space, grow my own food and feel wonder at nature every day. One day soon I'll raise a family on this farm, and they will grow up in the magic of an old growth forest, surrounded by marine life. This farm, with all its beneficial and regenerative properties is my love letter to my children and future generations.
Describe and demonstrate, including metrics, your community support. How do you support and uplift your community, and how do they show that support in return? Minimum 25 words, maximum 2500 characters.
Shellfish are a powerful natural environmental engineer, crucial for combating eutrophication (the process in which the water body becomes overly enriched with nutrients, leading to an increase in the production of algae and macrophytes). Oysters, mussels and clams are great at filtering water, removing dissolved agricultural runoff pollutants from the water column. A single oyster can filter 50 gallons of water per day. Kelp absorbs carbon dioxide and nitrogen reducing ocean acidification and replenishing oxygen. This supports biodiversity in the surrounding environment. Shellfish and kelp live in a symbiotic relationship. Low oxygen caused by agricultural runoff stresses shellfish. By introducing kelp, the shellfish can do the work to reduce eutrophication. However, kelp in BC is constantly under threat from sea urchins. We harvest the sea urchins and place them in the shellfish trays to keep the shellfish clean to reduce the rate of die off. Our involvement with the Greenwave provides access to their carbon sequestration tracking software. Our initial crop sequestered 5,600kg of CO2 and 478lbs of dissolved nitrogen. We are looking forward to this winter when we will outplant 10x as much kelp. This winter we will expand our monitoring to shellfish to begin tracking our nitrogen sequestration. Through our involvement with the Kelp Climate Fund we have been able to calculate our carbon and nitrogen sequestration through kelp growth for the past year. Our test crop sequestered 5,600kg of dissolved carbon and 478lbs of dissolved nitrogen, meaning our farm is sequestering more carbon than it is consuming. This year we plan to grow 10x as much kelp onsite. The carrying capacity of the farm is 5.6 million bivalves. We currently have 2.6 million adult oysters on the farm. A single adult oyster can filter 50 gallons of water per day. Based on this our farm is filtering 130 billion gallons of water per a day or 197 Olympic swimming pools. This is the reason why our farm is home to an abundance of marine species, including the endangered sunflower sea star. The cleaner water results in improved biodiversity throughout the water column. Our local community is at the heart of what we do. Since this farm’s inception, improving our community’s access to fresh sustainable shellfish has been at the heart of our organization. From our local initiatives to our community partners, we know that our impact is stronger through collective work.
Why do you deserve to win the Business Impact award?
Shellfish farming is at the precipice of the sustainable food movement, but has been forgotten. Long before regenerative food was a trending topic, oyster farms were supporting surrounding ecology and cleaning waters. Our farm supports the rebrand and revision of one of nature's most sustainable products.
Tell Us About Your Culture. How are you creating a sustainable and healthy workplace where everyone feels welcome? Provide examples of leadership you show in interactions with clients, vendors, contractors, staff and others.
We believe in a culture of transparency. We over communicate. We give people the option of saying no.