Amryis (NASDAQ:AMRS) and conservation organization, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), have joined forces in support of the WWF’s efforts to improve the health of the oceans and reduce the damage done on shark populations.
The partnership works into Amyris’ commitment to ESG initiatives as published in its 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) report. Part of that is the recognition that the population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles has declined 69 per cent since 1970, according to the WWF’s Living Planet Report in 2022. This loss has significant impact on human health and is the reason for the partnership.
“As our planet faces a biodiversity crisis, the need for companies to invest in solutions that protect the health of essential habitats, including our oceans, has never been more important. We are enthusiastic about the possibilities this partnership holds for showing the positive link between sustainability, clean chemistry and healthy habitats and the importance of science leading to positive impacts on biodiversity,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of private sector engagement for the WWF.
Amyris is a synthetic biotechnology company. Its present goals are to move the clean health and beauty and flavours and fragrances markets away from their environmentally damaging roots. It intends to do this by using sustainable ingredients through fermentation and its own Lab-to-Market tech platform. The platform uses machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence to bring new innovations to market at scale.
At present, the company’s ingredients are used in over 20,000 products from top brands, and reach over 300 million consumers. The company also owns its own line of brands, which it’s constantly growing to meet ever-changing demand for sustainable and effective products.
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Amyris and the importance of the shark
Consequently, the drive for sustainability is at the heart of this partnership. Amyris will support the WWF’s drive to push fishers in Ecuador and Peru towards sustainable fishing during the partnership’s first year.
This is in response to the report’s revelations that the global abundance of oceanic sharks has declined by 71 per cent over the past 50 years, thanks to an 18-fold increase in fishing pressure since 1970. The collapse reflects an increased risk of extinction for most species. By 1980, nine of the 31 oceanic sharks and rays were threatened with extinction. By 2020, over three-quarters (specifically, 77 per cent) were threatened with extinction.
The size and complexity of the food webs make it hard to know the ecosystem impact from the decline in oceanic sharks. The effects, however, are becoming obvious. For example, the report states the declining numbers of apex predators result in functional changes to oceanic food webs. These are also necessary for the food security of income of many communities and economies in low-income nations.
Amryis and WWF will also work together to identify ingredients for Amyris’ molecule pipeline. These could reduce the damage done to ocean ecosystems and actually help rejuvenate biodiversity and endangered habitats.