Southern Ocean Mariculture (SOM) started as a business in February 1996 and commenced building one of the first abalone farms in Australia on some windswept sand dunes in April 1996. The business was started by a group of local abalone divers wanting to give back to an industry that had served them well. After years of research and with a group of employees with a passion for abalone cultivation, the farming cycle was perfected.
Ocean Road brand was created to represent our premium range of retort pouched abalone products. It is a boutique concept aimed at providing our customers value added products and more customized services.
The three elements ocean, land and sky on our logo forms the abalone shape to express the clean and green environment we produce our fine quality abalone from. The road across the abalone indicates both where we are (on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria), the sustainable supply we commit to our customers and the corporate social responsibility we have to our people and the community.
Ocean Mariculture (SOM)
All of SOM's employees are proud of the abalone we produce, and passionate about growing abalone. Our husbandry team who do all the hard work of cleaning, feeding, grading and harvesting are nearly all graduates in aquatic science from Deakin University and work with us while gaining experience in the aquaculture industry. So SOM gets knowledgeable employees and they get a leg up into the industry.
The Management team
General Manager - Mark Gervis
Mark was recruited to set up Southern Ocean Mariculture in 1996. Having gained a fishery Science degree in Plymouth (UK) and a Masters degree in Aquaculture from Stirling, Scotland he then worked in Scotland, Sarawak (East Malaysia) and the Solomon Islands prior to going to Port Fairy to build SOM. When he's not on the farm he's either at home with his family, working on his house or vegetable patch, cycling, surfing, swimming or off travelling.
Marketing Manager - Rita Hsu
Rita joined the abalone industry in 2004 when she was studying for her business degree in Western Australia. With her Asian background plus the knowledge and marketing experience in cultivated abalone, she strives in providing quality product and service to meet the customer's requirements. "Fine is never good enough" is the attitude she has when it comes to quality. In her spare time, she enjoys painting or having a game of golf.
Production Manager - Hamish Ebery
Hamish is in charge of the husbandry team and keeps all of the abalone at their healthiest as well as harvesting the abalone according to our customers' demands. Hamish came to SOM in 2001 and completed his aquatic Science degree soon after. When not looking after the abalone he is with his young family if they can drag him away from the surf.
Nursery Manager - Steven Farrell
Steven keeps SOM full of abalone and has done since 1996, Steve was one of the earliest people working in abalone farming in Australia after gaining an advanced diploma in Aquaculture and gaining experience in oyster and salmon farming. Steve lives on the farm at SOM, checking for faults and keeping it secure. In his off time he fishes the waters offshore and enjoys his coastal lifestyle.
Site Manager - Brendan Fitzgibbon
Brendan has been at SOM since 2004 and is in charge of all aspects of building and maintenance at the site as well as keeping it a safe place to work. Brendan comes from a multi-disciplinary background and all of his skills both building and mechanical are required here at SOM to keep it functioning year round. When Brendan is off site he is either with his wife or found on building projects he has taken on. Whenever he can, he carries on adding to his extensive travel experiences.