Starlo throws a line to innovative fish composting start-up

Australian fishing legend, sports fishing writer and television personality Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling says a business turning marine waste into compost is one of the most exciting developments for recreational fishing and recycling industries he’s seen in 50 years.

In a new film Ocean To Earth, Starlo takes anglers on a journey that starts in the pristine waters of the Far South Coast of NSW and finishes in the Old Mill Road biofarm with chef, television and radio host and author Paul West.

“In a world that so often seems to be dominated by bad news, it’s an absolute joy to be able to bring you the good news story of Ocean2earth,” Starlo says.

“Two brothers with a passion for fishing and the environment have been able to take fish and other marine waste that would normally have gone to landfill and polluted our environments and turned it into a rich, productive compost.

“It’s one of the most exciting developments I’ve seen in my half century as a fishing communicator.”

Eden brothers Tim and Kyran Crane founded Ocean2earth in 2019 to address fish waste problems at boat ramps in the Bega Valley. Through collections at the ramps and from seafood processors they are diverting between 200 and 300 tonnes of waste away from landfill annually. The end product is Australia’s only EPA-approved naturally processed fish compost.

Bega Valley Shire Council Waste Strategy Coordinator Joley Vidau says the community had been asking Council for a long time to come up with a better solution at boat ramps.

“We had stinky bins and the material was going to landfill and we knew there was something better we could do. Along came Ocean2earth, two local guys, with a solution to a problem faced by every boat ramp in Australia.”

Ms Vidau says Ocean2earth also played a key role in helping Council change the way people think about waste.

“We spend a lot of time at local government level getting people to choose the right bin, because if you don’t what happens is that it ends up costing the community, and the environment, a lot,” she says.

“What blows my mind about Ocean2earth is there was a problem, and these guys came up with the best solution, taking waste out of landfill and making it into a valuable resource – premium grade fish compost. I love it, and Council is so proud to see this innovation start right here in our shire.”

Starlo says there was potential to expand Ocean2earth Australia wide for the benefit of the recreational fishing industry and broader community.

“If you see their collection bins where you’re cleaning your catch make sure you use them, and use them properly. And if you don’t see them there, ask your local Council why not. Because this is the way of the future, it’s got to be the way of the future” he says.

  • The Ocean To Earth film was funded through the NSW DPI Recreational Fishing Trust.

DELTAwater pays it forward to Ocean2earth

Water treatment company DELTAwater solutions is paying it forward to new compost manufacturing business Ocean2earth Australia by launching a spring gardening campaign highlighting Australian made innovation.

DELTAwater has purchased a palette of the compost, which launched in Australia in autumn, to help raise the profile of Ocean2earth which repurposes marine waste into a useful product.

Alex and Dianne Panov founded DELTAwater solutions in Newcastle more than 25 years ago and recognise some of themselves in Ocean2earth, which collects marine waste from manufacturers and suppliers and turns it into a highly concentrated compost.

DELTAwater solutions manufactures a water treatment system with a small environmental footprint, which is power-free, maintenance free and chemical free.

“When we first started designing and manufacturing a water treatment system for the agricultural industry in the early 1990s, we were filling a void to make a product that wasn’t available,” Dianne says.

“Ocean2earth Australia is a new company founded by two brothers, Tim and Kyran Crane from the NSW Far South Coast. They also saw a problem, marine waste going into our oceans and into landfill, and have put a lot of time, energy and effort into finding an innovative solution.”

DELTAwater solutions manufacture customised water conditioners to treat specific water problems including salinity, calcium-scale, water hardness, iron and corrosion.

Dianne says the combination of DELTA-treated water and Ocean2earth Australia fish compost in the garden was a powerful one.

“We have a lush garden at home thanks to our town water supply being treated by a DELTAwater conditioner, and in preparation for spring we mixed the Ocean2earth fish compost into our pots, herb, flower and garden beds and the results are already showing. It’s a great product that we are proud to support.”

Ocean2earth Australia started processing their compost in 2019 and after EPA approval, launched their product in autumn 2021. It is made using a whole new natural composting process which isn’t used anywhere else in Australia, utilising waste products destined for landfill, creating jobs and providing a product packaged for the small backyard market right through to large-scale fruit and vegetable growers.

Kyran says they’re rapt to have the support from DELTAwater solutions.

“We are just starting out and getting our product into the market and are on a rapid learning curve. To have the backing of another innovative Australian business which is so well established is terrific. Dianne and Alex’s generosity in paying it forward is something we never imagined, we are extremely grateful.”

  • Everyone who purchases a DELTAwater solutions water treatment conditioner during spring will get a free bag of Ocean2earth Australia’s highly-concentrated, quality fish compost. The offer will run until November 30, 2021.

Ocean2earth fish compost launched to Australian market

Ocean2earth Australia is dedicated to turning marine waste into a clean, green and fully-natural fish compost, potting mix and other high quality gardening products. Ocean2earth Australia fish compost is not just an ordinary compost. It is a living soil full of beneficial microbes and naturally-composted sea minerals. 100% Australian made, 100% natural and 100% environmentally friendly with no artificial additives. The company plans to expand its technology in the future to offer a full range of fish-based soil conditioning products such as liquid fertiliser and fertiliser pellets.

Ocean2earth Australia collects marine waste from boat ramps and seafood processors, plus other byproducts from industries such as forestry and food manufacturing, that would normally be deemed “waste” and transforms it into premium recycled gardening products.

Using an innovative natural composting process and a newly EPA-approved composting method, they produce a concentrated and highly effective compost which is odour free, 100% natural and has been proven to be extremely effective for improved growth and plant health, as well as improved soil health.

Ocean2earth is based in the NSW Bega Valley in a region renowned for its pristine coastal waters and clean, green environment. Ocean2earth’s long-term goal is to expand this innovative ‘compost not landfill’ concept right along the Australian coastline, creating jobs and contributing to a global war on waste and circular economy movement.

Ocean2earth fish compost is available in small, conveniently sized bags for the home and market gardener. It is a highly-concentrated compost and a little goes a long way. For example our 3L bags have enough compost for 3.65 square metres of soil.