Our Story

 

Like many businesses, Future Oceans began life in a small garage. The Californian based owners of the business, William “Walt” Walters and Stan Pleskunas took the idea from the drawing board to design, to making the first several thousand Pingers, painstakingly by hand, over a three year period. 

In 2008, James Turner acquired the company and continued developing the business from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Both Walt and Stan remain actively involved in the ongoing design and engineering of our Pingers.

Today Future Oceans is directly involved in projects in many countries, but there is still a long way to go to ensure the long term survival of cetacean populations while still allowing for global commercial fishing requirements.

Our Mission

Our core mission is the protection of all marine wildlife. Generating revenue is important but only to support the missionWe believe that the best rewards are those that make an impact. And that’s exactly what you can do by joining Future Oceans – your support will make a direct, positive impact on Whale, Dolphin and Porpoise (Cetacean) populations all over the world.

When Future Oceans profits, marine wildlife profits.

Future Oceans – A Social Enterprise

We are a little different to most organisations you may know that are dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Firstly, we are not a non-profitWe are a for profit company that was established as a Social Enterprise. 

As a social enterprise we are committed to reinvesting 100% of profits back in to the business.

Meet Our CEO

James Turner
Founder and CEO

James is a lifelong entrepreneur and has built numerous successful organisations over the past 30 years. James acquired Fumunda Marine in 2008, which he renamed Future Oceans. A lifelong surfer and experienced scuba diver, James’ passion for the sea and its marine life is the driving force behind Future Oceans.

Our Scientific Advisory Panel

Our Scientific Advisory Panel was established to provide Future Oceans with scientific advice on the use of Pingers as a cetacean bycatch reduction tool and to help steer the future of Pinger technology. The Panel includes marine biologists from Europe, USA, and Australia. Collectively they are helping ensure that information Future Oceans provides is of the highest scientific credibility.

Our members were invited to voluntarily participate in developing a better understanding of how and why Pingers work. The panel share a common goal of developing broader scientific trials using Pingers, which will allow all stakeholders in efforts to reduce cetacean bycatch with important scientific data, needed to make informed decisions surrounding the use of Pingers.

We encourage all researchers interested in Pinger technology to communicate with us at Future Oceans and our scientific advisory panel for information on our Pinger test results. If you seek to establish Pinger research trials or experiments we will work with you to make this happen.

SCOTT KRAUS, PH.D

scott_kraussDr. Kraus has published over 85 scientific papers on cetacean biology & conservation, he is a member of the research faculty at the University of Southern Maine. Scott’s research areas include the biology & conservation problems facing North Atlantic Right whales and methods to reduce bycatch.

SIMON NORTHRIDGE, PH.D

simon_northridgeSimon is a Senior Lecturer at St Andrews University in Scotland and works with the University’s Sea Mammal Rescue Unit, (SMRU). Simon plays an active role in the decision making processes related to European efforts to reduce cetacean bycatch.

VIC PEDDEMORS, PH.D

vic_peddemorsVic Peddemors heads the shark research section of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, (DPI) , providing scientific leadership for the group’s research and advisory effort. Vic’s research interests cover a wide range of marine apex predators, but have particularly focused on cetaceans and sharks.

STEFAN BRÄGER, PH.D

stefan_bragerDr. Bräger has played an important role in numerous European groups involved in the challenge to reduce marine mammal bycatch. His research interests include the conservation of aquatic vertebrates and marine habitats.

Company Milestones

1999

  • Fumunda Marine established in California USA.
  • US Federal Government mandates the use of Pingers to reduce Harbor Porpoise bycatch.

2004

  • European Commission introduces the 812/2004 Pinger mandates which applies to fisheries across Europe.

2008

  • Fumunda Marine is acquired by Australian, James Turner, and the business is transferred to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
  •  Fumunda Marine acts as industry representative at ASCOBANS and ICES meetings in Europe.

2009

  • Duke University in the USA funds the development of a new 70 kHz Dolphin Pinger designed specifically to reduce Common Bottle Nose Dolphin bycatch.

2010

  • Fumunda Marine is sold to Brisbane based environmental organisation Genesis BDI.
  • Pinger production is moved to Gertronics, a subsidiary company of Genesis BDI based in Lawnton, Queensland.

2011

  • James Turner acquires Fumunda Marine from Genesis BDI.
  • Application for Federal Government Commercialisation Australia grant is made. Application is for a Proof of Concept grant required to complete the development of prototype 3 kHz Whale Pinger needed by gillnet fishers in USA.
  • Portuguese Government acquires $125,000.00 worth of Pingers as part of the Safesea Pinger trials. The largest Pinger trials ever undertaken.

2012

  • Commercialisation Australia grant of $250,000.00 is awarded to Fumunda Marine.
  • Fumunda Marine business name is changed to Future Oceans.
  • Future Oceans develops new LED Pinger technology helping prevent major Gulf of Maine Fishery closure. Results in sales of $325,000.00 of new LED Pingers, the largest single Pinger acquisition ever made.
  • Sales of prototype Whale Pinger start in Alaska where gillnet fishers seek help in reducing Humpback whale entanglements. Results are immediate and dramatic and sales spike.

2013

  • Future Oceans continues to develop rapidly emerging markets for Whale Pingers.
  • Future Oceans secures letters of support from West Australian Department of Environment and Conservation and West Australian Rock Lobster Council to undertake large scale in fishery trials of Whale Pingers in early 2014.
  • Future Oceans is cited nationally in the USA as a key stakeholder in the deferral of Gulf of Maine fishery closure.
  • National Marine Fishery service (NMFS) endorses Future Oceans LED Pinger.

2015

  • Future Oceans engages Komaru Technologies for R&D work on new pinger models.
  • Future Oceans engages NiteRider Inc manufacturing facilities to manufacture successful test run of 2,000 pingers.
  • Future Oceans delivers Whale and Dolphin pingers to Gloucester Fishing Coop in New England on swap-out program and to a European fishing association for second year of pilot project.
  • September – 2015 – Future Oceans secures International investment and initiates the re-structuring of the company including the introduction of a Board of Directors who will oversee the future growth of the business.

2016

  • INDIA
    Ganges River Dolphin initiative launched with Wildlife Institute of India. 200 fresh water operating Pingers are being used in the first large scale scientific study on the effects of Pingers on the critically endangered Ganges River Dolphins in the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems.
  • NEW LOW BATTERY LEVEL INDICATOR
    A low battery Red LED is incorporated in to all Future Oceans Pingers providing fishermen with an important feature ensuring that they know when batteries are low and need to be replaced. This new feature ensures that Pingers will always remain operational.
  • NORWAY
    Meetings held in Norway in October with representatives of the Institute of Marine Research and Norway Fishermen Union ( Norges Fiskarlag) lay the groundwork for the future uptake of Pingers in Norway’s important Monk and Cod gill net fisheries.
  • UPGRADED PINGERS
    Future Oceans Pingers undergo a complete electronic engineering overhaul and the new Pingers deliver more consistent, reliable performance than ever before. Our Pinger casings are now made in the USA, ensuring that our Pingers offer 100% reliable service and will withstand the harshest treatment handed out by fishermen all over the world.
  • BULGARIA
    James Turner attends meetings held in Sofia and Burgas in Bulgaria with Balkani Wildlife Society, Government representatives and fishing industry representatives in efforts to help reduce the loss of Dolphins and Porpoises in Bulgaria’s gill net fishing fleet. The meetings are very positive with all stakeholders working together to discuss the benefit Pingers can offer Bulgaria’s 2500 + gill net fishermen.
  • ARGENTINA
    Foundation Aquamarina Cecim in Buenos Aires are well in to the advanced stages of a trial using Future Oceans 70 kHz Dolphin Pingers in efforts to reduce the loss of the local La Plata (Fransiscana) Dolphin in the Buenos Aires region. The implementation of Pingers was approved by the Federal Government as part of a National Action Plan for the Conservation of Marine Mammals in 2015. Although Franciscana is the most threatened cetacean being entangled in gillnets, there are also plans to test Pingers with other species in Southern Patagonia.

Associations