sustainable ocean alliance


Looking back at 2022, I am humbled by the incredible work the SOA team brought to life.
It was a record-breaking fundraising year, which allowed us to accelerate dozens of new ocean solutions that you can read about in this report. We now have more than 7,000 young ocean leaders around the world, and 82 hubs across 77 countries. The team came together for the first time since the pandemic at the United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal, where we proudly cohosted the Youth and Innovation Forum. Many of us met in person for the very first time on the beautiful beach in Cascais, where we had the honor to watch more than 120 youth devise real-world solutions to some of the greatest threats facing our ocean – and even enjoyed a surprise appearance from actor and activist Jason Momoa! From our realized impact to strengthening internal bonds, it was truly SOA's greatest year yet.

Now looking forward to 2023, it is clear we still have so much work to do. We are bracing for the defining climate fight of our generation – deep-seabed mining. SOA has been campaigning vigorously against this destructive practice for more than two years, and recently delivered a collaborative petition with more than a quarter of a million signatures calling for a moratorium. The International Seabed Authority is set to vote on whether to allow the mining of the deep sea in July, and if approved, it could be open for business that very month. In the history of the destruction of our planet, our generation has never been present to prevent detrimental actions from taking place. This is why we are spending so much of our time restoring, regenerating, and rehabilitating. But now, we can prevent this horrific practice from ever starting. We cannot afford to stay silent and do nothing. We cannot afford to stay on the sidelines and watch those in power determine our fate and our future. This is why we must urgently continue to build our network of young ocean leaders – and ocean allies of all ages. It is critical we have a voice in world-altering decisions, as it is our future most at stake.

While we know we have our work cut out for us, I hope you are as inspired and buoyed by this report as I am. The climate crisis cannot be solved by one person. But together, we are creating meaningful change to protect our planet, our future, and each other.

Signature of Daniela Fernandez

Daniela V. Fernandez

Founder and CEO,
Sustainable Ocean Alliance



Our global network of people and solutions are making a measurable impact. These numbers are cumulative through December 31, 2022.


solutions accelerated

with headquarters in 77 different countries

investments and grants

from SOA to our solutions pipeline

Countries represented

by SOA's youth leaders and solutions

youth-led hubs

engaging over 200,000 participants in global activations


within SOA's solutions


raised by SOA startups

five areas of ocean HEALTH IMPACT

Sustainable Ocean Alliance takes a unique approach to solving key ocean challenges. By allocating funding across nonprofit grants, market-driven startup investments, and local initiatives, we support a diverse community of ocean solutions. This unique strategy has led to SOA supporting 266 ocean solutions across 77 countries over the past 5 years.

Through collaboration with ocean impact entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and scientific advisors, we have developed a methodology for organizing and collecting impact data across five key ocean areas. Each solution represented in this report falls into one or more of these impact categories. We hope that this report will encourage funders to allocate more resources towards solving these ocean challenges.

Craig Dudenhoeffer
Chief Impact & Investments Officer


Greenhouse Gas: Blue Carbon & CO2e Removal or Avoidance

2022 IMPACT:
1,143 metric tons of CO2 avoided or removed

Greenhouse gasses (GHGs) absorb infrared solar radiation and trap heat in the atmosphere, resulting in global warming, climate change, increased ocean temperatures and sea level rise. CO2, one of the most common GHGs, is absorbed by the ocean, which in turn, causes ocean acidification. In 2022, 36.8 gigatons of carbon (CO2) were emitted globally.

By supporting solutions that remove or avoid GHG emissions, or that sequester and store CO2, SOA can help reduce these harmful environmental effects and improve the health of our ocean.



Waste reduction & the Circular economy

2022 IMPACT:
1,794 metric tons of waste removed, avoided, or recycled
(including 446 metric tons of plastic)

Every year, 11 million metric tons of plastic enter our marine environments, killing marine life, destroying sensitive ocean ecosystems, and polluting food sources that support livelihoods around the world.

SOA champions solutions that remove these harmful pollutants from the ocean or avoid their use altogether. Their work in turn helps to build the circular economy, which promotes the extension of product lifecycles through recycling and upcycling, and aims to decrease solid waste and pollution.


Ecosystem Preservation & Restoration

2022 IMPACT:

  • 7,700 square meters of mangrove forest preserved or Restored
    4,637 Square meters of coral reef preserved or restored

Marine and coastal ecosystems protect crucial biodiversity, and provide services vital to our existence. These areas include coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangrove forests, salt marshes, and the deep seabed. Together, they serve as critical areas for wildlife reproduction, nurseries for marine organisms, and landscapes for carbon capture.

Solutions in this category measure impact by reporting the area of marine habitat they restore or protect. In 2022, this included establishing 3,573 square meters of coral reef, and planting 19,425 mangroves. This category also includes 11 projects related to local education and advocacy around the detrimental impacts of deep-seabed mining.


Blue Foods: Fisheries, Aquaculture, & seafood alternatives

2022 IMPACT:
56.9 metric tons of Blue Foods Produced
55 metric tons of bycatch avoided

More than three billion people rely on seafood as a primary source of protein, and 260 million depend on fisheries for their livelihoods. Overfishing, and illegal and industrial practices are killing wildlife and destroying wild places. At the same time, aquaculture seeks to meet demand and reduce the burden on the ocean, but can result in high levels of pollution if not performed sustainably.

Emerging alternatives to any form of aquatically-derived animal protein are plant-based and new methods of cellular agriculture. SOA supports solutions that produce sustainable Blue Foods and those that help move our food systems towards a sustainable future.



2022 IMPACT:
3,149 People Trained or Educated
156 Reports & Publications
296 Workshops

Ocean data, literacy, and research projects help us build the knowledge base we need to activate all other ocean solutions. While there may not be a singular category to measure their impact, in 2022 we have elected to report on education, training, and knowledge sharing.

The majority of projects in this category represent grants to SOA's global community, via Hubs. Through hosting over 150 events and activations around the world, their work has engaged over 200,000 people. These projects inform policy, drive innovation, and equip new audiences with the knowledge they need to become change agents in their own right.






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Hong Kong


Blue Foods: Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Seafood Alternatives

Shue Man Tsun

The Typhoon-Resistent System of the Modernized Shellfish Home

Soonlution is a startup founded by a group of Hong Kong University students working to modernize the way shellfish are farmed by creating a prototype that allows for more sophisticated buoyancy controls, increasing the platform’s resilience and adaptability to typhoons, which are increasing in frequency and strength due to climate change. The support of an SOA microgrant has allowed them to test and refine three different prototypes as part of their proof of concept.

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United States of America, Honduras

North America

Marine Data or Research

Trent Tresch

Deep Sea Submersible Marine Survey

A group of researchers, led by Trent Tresch, conduct multiple deep-sea dives to study the six gill sharks and the presence of microplastics at depths of 1000-2,500 feet off of Roatan, Honduras. The footage and findings from their research is shared through a display at a local museum, and SOA is partnering with them to share their project to raise awareness of the ways human impacts are being felt even at the depths of the ocean.

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United States of America

North America

Pollution: Waste Reduction & Circular Use

John Felts, Marco Rolandi, Toby Corey

Cruz Foam

Cruz Foam is a circular materials company that produces regenerative, earth-digestible protective packaging foam and other eco-friendly solutions that offer a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based products. Cruz Foam's patented products are circular in nature, using biopolymers found in nature to create a compostable material using the existing supply chain and at a similar cost. Cruz Foam currently works with consumer-packaged goods, electronics, appliance, and durable goods companies. Cruz Foam is a mission-driven company creating impact at scale by empowering industry leaders to be the catalyst for a cleaner environment.

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South America

Blue Foods: Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Seafood Alternatives

Diego Moreno

Building an Equitable Seaweed Economy in Colombia II

This group of researchers, in partnership with the University Libre Barranquilla Phycology lab, will conduct workshops, plant an initial test farm, foster partnerships, and publish novel research to enable the growth of an equitable Colombian seaweed farming industry. Despite growing demand and desirable ecological conditions, the Colombian seaweed economy remains underdeveloped. As the industry grows, insufficient infrastructure and legislation may lead to the construction of an extractive and exploitative seaweed economy. They will conduct focus groups with Indigenous Wayuu people and regional fishing communities harmed by overfishing and climate change to build the foundation of a community-led seaweed ecosystem in Colombia.

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South America

Blue Foods: Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Seafood Alternatives

Andrés Muñoz-Ruano

Regenerative Aquaculture Cooperativa K'uxya

This project is solving the over-exploitation of fish populations for the production of animal feed through the use of undervalued resources such as (insects, microalgae, and undervalued native plants) for the production of fish pellets for aquaculture. Working with the Integral Cooperative of Mayan-indigenous peasants in Quixaya, Guatemala, this scalable project provided them with the tools that help achieve sustainability within their livelihoods and provides them with an economic alternative in the context of a social enterprise, making them more resilient.

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Ocean Data, Literacy & Research

Jeremy Raguain

Amen mon lo zil / Take Me to the Islands

This project will visit and film 7 islands of the Seychelles to highlight and document biodiversity, island and marine conservation initiatives and challenges, marine protected areas and research. Seychellois will be interviewed and featured and the videos will be translated into the 3 official Seychelles languages.

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United Kingdom

Europe & United Kingdom

Blue Foods: Fisheries, Aquaculture, & Seafood Alternatives

Daniel Watson, Nadia Laabs, Aran Dasan

SafetyNet Technologies

SafetyNet Technologies is a UK-based early stage company, making the fishing industry smarter through the development of user-friendly technologies to enable Precision Fishing and make the industry more sustainable.

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Europe & United Kingdom

Ecosystems and Species: Preservation & Restoration

Rita Mealha Brissos Arcanjo Camacho

Um mural pelo Oceano Profundo

Gonçalo MAR, an artist affiliated with the seabed mining advocacy group Sciaena, creates a deep sea mining mural in Lisbon for the 2022 UN Ocean Conference, whilst Sciaena will coordinate social media activations around his artwork.

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Marine Data or Research

Leonati Motuliki

Mounu Ocean Academy

This project led by the Mounu Ocean Academy contributes to reef monitoring and whale conservation through community education, participation, and volunteer training. A training course will be developed to teach volunteers how to conduct regular reef surveys. The data will inform citizen science initiatives such as Reef Check and Coral Watch.

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