Regional | Aquaculture

Seaweed firm aims to turn invasive species into food, nutraceuticals

Whiore Enterprises and four other companies will be attending the world's largest trade show in Norway this August, as a part of the Hatch Launchpad programme aimed at accelerating their growth in global aquaculture.

The Ngāi Tahu-based team hopes to see the repurposing of invasive seaweed species into usable produce and products.

Whiore Enterprises chief executive Alan Groves says his company is looking to take as much of the elements out of seaweed that are valuable to humans to consume, both in the way of foods and nutraceuticals.

He says there- is a valuable element in Undaria known to be very helpful in helping people with cancer. "It has anti-cancer properties so we'll be looking at extracting that.”

Whiore Enterprises has found a position in the Hatch Launchpad Programme, aimed at connecting companies together to increase knowledge in their field. However, Groves who descends from Ngāi Tau and Kāti Mamoe, says providing for his people first is at the top of his mind.

Māori taking their aquaculture prowess to the world.

Ngāi Tahu first

“Investing in the seaweed space is something that's becoming very popular for the large venture capitalists, the big investors. So we're hoping that ultimately there will be an opportunity for investment down here.

"But first of all, we'll be going to our own people. We'll be taking this opportunity to Ngāi Tahu people and wider Māori investment communities first because we want to provide these opportunities first and foremost to our own. And that covers everything from jobs to investment opportunities.”

“Another thing that Whiore will be looking to do further down the track is get into farming seaweeds, and maybe farming other marine species, probably shellfish. That is our objective over the medium to long term.”

This August Whiore Enterprises will be travelling to Norway, and the hope of the group is to give back the knowledge gained for the iwi.

“Hatch and Nitsan who we've been working with on this programme will really help us connect internationally, and hopefully connect with some people, some entities, some organisations and some investors that can help us along our journey.”