10 Startups Conserving Marine Life in 2024

Underwater view of a sea turtle.

Our oceans are vital to our survival, especially the survival of the vibrant wildlife and coral reefs that live in the many bodies of water around the world. Startups everywhere are working to boost marine conservation and protect all the marine mammals and wildlife that call the seas home. Below, you’ll find a list of the top companies working to restore the oceans.

Top Marine Conservation Companies

The following startups are innovating in incredible ways to conserve marine wildlife. From sustainable fisheries to artificial reefs that protect ocean ecosystems, these are the top marine conservation startups to watch this year. 

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

1. Pesky Fish

  • Location: London, England
  • Founder(s): Aiden Berry, Ben King
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: Seed, £180,000
  • Investors Include: Techstars, David Sheppard

The ultimate goal at Pesky Fish is to bring a transparent supply chain to consumers without disrupting wildlife habitats. The company’s sustainable seafood sourcing allows it to deliver fresh, daily catches to individual and commercial consumers. Notably, this company only provides certain fish species if their numbers are where they should be so as not to disturb populations.

2. Bask Suncare

  • Location: New York City, New York
  • Founder(s): Mike Huffstetler
  • Founded In: 2021
  • Funding: N/A
  • Investors Include: Generation Ventures

Sustainable suncare is all the rage these days, and the founders at Bask have created their own award-winning formula that won’t harm the environment or your skin. Their products ensure the absence of both oxybenzone and octinoxate, as well as benzene. These harmful chemicals are found in other sunscreens, and while they give our skin an added layer of protection, they’re not necessary and harm our coral reefs and oceans.

3. The Great Bubble Barrier

  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Founder(s): Anne Marieke Eveleens, Francis Zoet, Philip Ehrhorn, Saskia Studer
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: N/A
  • Investors Include: N/A

Much of the pollution that ends up in our oceans comes from our rivers, but The Great Bubble Barrier startup is here to change that. Their bubble barrier catches plastic over the full width and depth of any river, preventing harmful plastics from ending up in the sea. The best part? The barriers don’t impede regular river activity and are always fully functional.

4. Coral Vita

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Founder(s): Gator Halpern, Sam Teicher
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: Grant, $2 Million
  • Investors Include: Katapult, Yale University, Boost VC

Coral Vita is an ocean conservation startup that works to restore dying coral reefs by growing and planting diverse coral reefs into degraded reefs. The startup's “Adopt a Coral” program allows consumers to get involved in ocean health by enabling them to sponsor and preserve endangered oceanic ecosystems. 

5. Pela

  • Location: Kelowna, Canada
  • Founder(s): Jeremy Lang, Brad Pedersen
  • Founded In: 2008
  • Funding: $5 Million
  • Investors Include: Marcy Venture Partners, Kensington Capital Partners

Pela boasts the first biodegradable phone case. The startup began after a family trip to Hawaii, where founder Jeremy Lang discovered just how much plastic ends up in our oceans, especially from our technology. In addition to phone cases, Pela also makes recyclable headphone cases, smartwatch straps, and sunglasses.

6. SafetyNet Technologies

  • Location: London, England
  • Founder(s): Aran Dasan, Daniel Watson, Nadia Laabs
  • Founded In: 2011
  • Funding: Grant, $1.5 Million
  • Investors Include: The UK Government, Conservation International Ventures, and Creative Destruction Lab

The fishing industry is a vital agriculture practice in seaside towns, but many current practices aren't sustainable and actively harm our planet. SafetyNet Technologies uses proprietary technology to ensure sustainable ocean harvesting and less pollution for those who make their livelihoods on the seas.

7. Open Ocean Robotics

  • Location: Victoria, Canada 
  • Founder(s): Colin Angus, Julie Angus
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Grant, $3.6 Million
  • Investors Include: Creative Destruction Lab, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Understanding ocean wildlife requires boats out on the water. However, gas engines represent one of the main culprits in ocean pollution that harm many of the ocean's inhabitants like sea otters and sea lions. Open Ocean Robotics developed a solar-powered boat to cut down on ships’ carbon footprints, fight climate change, and keep our waters clear.

8. The Ocean Cleanup

  • Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Founder(s): Boyan Slat, Charles-Eric Gascon
  • Founded In: 2013
  • Funding: Grant, $35.4 Million
  • Investors Include: Founders Fund, Lynne Benioff, Marc Benioff

The Ocean Cleanup is a marine tech startup working to rid the oceans of plastic pollution by developing innovative technology and conducting cleanup efforts across the globe. With millions of kilograms of plastic removed from the ocean already, The Ocean Cleanup remains dedicated to its mission of protecting marine ecosystems and wildlife through the removal of plastic from the world's oceans. 

9. Brim Explorer

  • Location: Oslo, Norway
  • Founder(s): Agnes Arnadottir, Espen Larsen-Hakkebo
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Seed, Undisclosed Amount
  • Investors Include: Katapult Ocean

Brim Explorer is another startup looking to reduce water pollution caused by boats and other water transportation vehicles. Its hybrid-electric engine delivers a quieter ride, which allows for less disruption to the wildlife below the waves as well as less oil and gas pollution entering the water. 

10. ARC Marine

  • Location: Brixham, United Kingdom
  • Founder(s): Tom Birbeck
  • Founded In: 2015
  • Funding: £2 Million
  • Investors Include: Sustainable Ocean Alliance, The FSE Group, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund

ARC Marine is on a mission to repair damaged marine and coastal ecosystems by developing artificial reefs to enhance biodiversity. It creates each artificial reef with plastic-free, low-carbon technology to combat climate change while making strides to protect the marine environment. 

Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!

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