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.