Published by Urchinomics -Friday 26 April 2024

Urchinomics, the pioneering venture in urchin ranching and kelp restoration, is delighted to announce the appointment of Maru Samuels as its new in-country lead for New Zealand.

In this newly established role, Maru will spearhead the development of Urchin Ranching operations using Urchinomics proprietary system, to address the growing issue of kina (urchin) barrens in New Zealand.

With a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years working with iwi (tribes) and New Zealand seafood companies, as well as indigenous fisheries interests in the South Pacific, Maru has been instrumental in driving research-based transformation, innovation, and advocacy in fisheries.

Having been actively involved in the successful Envirostrat pilot project to establish the viability and ‘taste’ of ranched kina in New Zealand, Maru is perfectly positioned to drive the next phase of the project to carry out the commercialisation and scale up of the kina ranching facilities.

“Urchinomics presents a distinctive, and exciting, global proposition with a proven history of performing at the intersection of ecology, premium seafood, aquaculture, and community. I am excited to continue my engagement in New Zealand as part of this remarkable global initiative and look forward working closely with other In-Country leads in the USA, Canada, Norway and Japan,” Maru said.

Giles Cadman, Chairman of Urchinomics said: “I am delighted Maru has accepted the role. He is a great team player,  and brings the local knowledge and understanding we need to succeed in our mission of working with communities and stakeholders to restore New Zealand’s coastal eco systems.”

Maru will collaborate closely with Perry Bevin, Chief Executive Officer for Urchinomics, in his new role. Perry expressed gratitude for securing Maru as the newest addition to the Urchinomics global team: “Similar to many regions worldwide, New Zealand has long grappled with the challenges posed by urchin barrens, and Maru is undeniably the ideal person to lead a solution tailored to New Zealand’s distinctive ecological and indigenous landscape.”

Beyond his professional endeavours, Maru is a married family man with two adult children. He also represents New Zealand in Touch Rugby and is set to compete at the Touch Rugby World Cup in England later this year. Maru has whakapapa (ancestral) connections to the tribes of Ngaitakoto, Te Rarawa, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Hauā.