− Ocean Harvest was founded in 2021 by Robert Kupstas who also Co-founded Pure Harvest Smart Farms, the region’s leading Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) company, focused on fruit and vegetable production.
− This strategic senior hire comes at a critical juncture for the UAE’s pioneering commercial- scale land-based salmon farming venture, as it prepares to launch its inaugural project.
Ocean Harvest today announced the addition of Jawad Jamil as a Co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to its leadership team. The appointment followed a multi-month search led by leading executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. As the world’s climate and food security leaders look to the region’s progress and innovation leading up to COP28, this latest appointment by the GCC’s most promising technology-enabled aquaculture startup bolsters Ocean Harvest’s capabilities as it develops its inaugural commercial-scale land-based salmon farm in the UAE.
Ocean Harvest was founded in 2021 by Robert Kupstas who also Co-founded Pure
Harvest Smart Farms — the region’s leading Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)
startup also based in the UAE focused on fruit and vegetable production. Ocean Harvest Board Member and investor Sky Kurtz is also the CEO and Co-founder of Pure Harvest. While entirely separate, both ventures share the same values and mission as they seek to deliver innovative technological solutions to ensure security of food supply and environmental sustainability across the globe.
Ocean Harvest designs, builds and operates high-tech indoor fish farms incorporating Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology, making possible local, continuous production of Atlantic Salmon and other salmonid species of fish. The company’s mission is to enable sustainable, local production of high-quality, safe and affordable Atlantic Salmon anywhere is aligned with the UAE’s National Strategy for Food Security, and further enhances the country’s credentials as it leads the global call for action on Food Systems at COP28. Ocean Harvest is helping solve the Gulf region’s food security challenges by integrating proven Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology with bespoke, advanced wastewater treatment systems to deliver a truly climate agnostic growing system for salmon. This solution will pioneer year-round production of Atlantic Salmon while contributing to water conservation and a more sustainable global food system.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Jawad Jamil said, “I am truly honored to join Ocean Harvest at this exciting time and to lead our efforts to harmonize our mission with pivotal goals set by the UAE Government’s visionary agenda. Ocean Harvest is poised to further the region’s showcase of innovative Aqua-tech solutions with profound interplay between food security, environmental sustainability, and climate action.
“Together with my Co-founders CSO Robert Kupstas and Technical Director Bruno Sardenberg, guided by our highly accomplished board and advisors, the Ocean Harvest team is excited by the immense potential RAS technology holds to enable in-land fish farming and to combat global availability, affordability and food safety challenges for fish protein.”
Sky Kurtz, Board Member and investor at Ocean Harvest, who also serves as Cofounder & CEO of regional Agri-tech leader, Pure Harvest Smart Farms, added: “Experienced, highly capable leadership is fundamental to any venture’s success. With the long-awaited selection of an ambitious CEO to lead this company, Ocean Harvest has now completed the assembly of a world- class team and advisory board with the right mix of skills, competencies, experiences, and character to realize our shared vision to democratize access to high-quality, sustainably-grown fish.”
Jawad Jamil joins as Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will lead and drive corporate decision-making, manage overall operations, and act as the main point of communication between the Board of Directors and the management team. Jawad previously served as CEO at Medical Solutions, part of Gulf Healthcare International Group, where his time included a successful exit of the UAE business on behalf of its private equity investors. Prior to his CEO appointment, Jawad served as CFO of the Group where he delivered over 10 acquisitions with a total value of over USD $100MM, and held several other financial leadership roles in his career before that. Jawad Jamil is a graduate of the TRIUM Global Executive MBA program and is a Chartered Certified Account.
Ocean Harvest’s inaugural project is being delivered together with industry-leading technology partners. Ocean Harvest is also partnered with BESIX and Tech Group, who are major investors in the company and strategic partners. The company has secured a site and is currently focused on fulfilling its phase 1 project development plans as an early mover in the region’s fast-emerging land-based aquaculture industry. Upon successful completion of the first phase of Ocean Harvest’s inaugural facility, the business plans to expand its operations into other import-dependent markets, seeking to displace expensive, air-freighted fish supplies from overseas.