Coast4C’s mission is to build resilient blue economies in marginalized coastal areas that benefit the 4 C's (Communities, Commerce, conservation, & climate) by building Asia’s leading regenerative seaweed social enterprise.
Over 85% of global eucheumatoids (red seaweed supplying the global carrageenan market) are produced by small-scale farmers in the Philippines and Indonesia within the ecologically important Coral Triangle. Coast 4C provides technical assistance and services to small-scale producers to sustainably increase seaweed production levels, minimize coral reef damage and marine plastic pollution, and ensure that seaweed farming contributes to ocean health. They also aid in the regeneration of habitat and fish stocks by incorporating seaweed into community-based Marine Protected Areas (iMPAs) and are piloting blue carbon from mangrove protection and restoration as an additional revenue stream for communities. Coast4C’s work allows small-scale seaweed aquaculture to deliver significant social and ecological benefits.
In December 2021, Super Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) devastated the Philippines. Odette is the strongest typhoon on record to have hit the Bohol region, where Coast4C’s operations are based. Bohol experienced 270kph winds and 3-4m storm surges, which destroyed local infrastructure – including seaweed farms and processing facilities.
Coast4C’s work is now more critical than ever in terms of providing sustainable and equitable livelihoods to coastal communities. With CIV’s support, Coast 4C can be a catalyst for rapid and effective rebuilding of a vibrant blue economy in the Bohol region.
Coast4C is an early-stage seaweed trading company spun out of Net- Works, a program of the non-profit Zoological Society of London (“ZSL”) in collaboration with carpet-tile manufacturer Interface Inc. The Company is headquartered in New South Wales, Australia with primary business operations in the Philippines. The founders, Dr. Nick Hill and Amado Blanco, have worked together since 2007 on seaweed farming, marine conservation, livelihoods and inclusive value chains. Their vision is to empower millions of small-scale fishers and farmers via inclusive seaweed value chains, all while restoring ocean health.
After the devastation of Super Typhoon Odette, the $500,000 investment from Conservation International Ventures will enable Coast4C to rebuild their processing and storage warehouses, and to create and distribute “input packages” for farmers, which consist of essential materials needed to restart farming operations. These efforts will directly contribute to livelihood recovery across coastal communities in the Bohol Region, as well as support Coast4C in their efforts to implement ‘best practices’ for restorative and efficient seaweed cultivation.
Coast 4C provides improved market access and access to services for farmers who commit to meeting social and environmental criteria, including implementation of iMPA. Over the next 5 years, Coast 4C is targeting the protection and improved management of 30,000 ha of ocean and coastal habitats, sourcing regenerative seaweed from 2,000 families that implement sustainable practices, and halving the incidence of poverty and marine plastic pollution in 40 coastal communities.