Facing the potential of a global food shortage and increasing overfishing of the world’s oceans, the founders of Forever Oceans sought to develop a new method that could be replicated affordably while providing a steady supply of high-quality seafood.
Central to Forever Ocean’s mission is the belief that there is a better way to grow fish. That’s what drove founder Jason Heckathorn to establish the company in 2014. The company sought to leverage technology from defense contractor Lockheed Martin where its Velella mariculture project used unanchored drifter pens to raise fish without leaving an environmental footprint. Heckathorn hired Matthew Goldsborough as its first employee after he had served as Chief Technologist of the Velella program while at Lockheed. Goodwin has represented Forever Oceans as outside general counsel since 2018.
Forever Oceans has since developed recirculating aquaculture systems for fish breeding and an offshore platform designed to function in harsh ocean environments. The production process is also streamlined and automated: Humans oversee and maintain a system of robots that perform basic fish feeding and care while a cloud-based software detects risk and provides alerts to identify and address issues before they become problems.
Farming operations provide jobs and training to create a sustainable, predictable local economy for each farm. Stationed far offshore in deep waters and away from shipping lanes and tourism areas, Forever Oceans’ systems enable the cultivation of high quality fish in a clean, healthy, and natural environment. The mooring systems move naturally and the enclosures are stocked only with species with responsible diets and the fish can be fed, cleaned and harvested remotely.
“Our aim is to provide customers with a premium product and they can be proud knowing that they are making an eco-friendly decision that benefits the oceans and communities cultivating fish.” Heckathorn said.