KALY are a group of entrepreneurs, seafarers and nature-lovers on a journey of discovery. We are united by a common belief that cultivating kelp can provide benefits to the marine environment, local communities and humanity.
KALY believe viable contributions exist through the cultivation of kelp to combat universal concerns: climate change, biodiversity loss, declining rural communities, unsustainable arable food production and the widespread use of fertiliser, plastics and chemicals harmful to nature.
At KALY we will promote and share the benefits of farming kelp with local communities. We believe in a more holistic approach to working the sea through protection, restoration, and marine conservation. Our journey will make a positive contribution to existing communities.
KALY believe seaweed farming can be introduced throughout the west coast of Scotland. An incremental approach will build knowledge, confidence and momentum towards our vision. The journey will test best practices in kelp farming, community empowerment and scientifically measure the environmental benefits we bring to the marine environment.
Commercial viability is at the core of our vision. To be a sustainable industry, many strands of the production and processing chain must come together. Companies making useful products from seaweed require a continuous supply of stabilised, high-quality biomass throughout the year. KALY can flourish by providing this continuous supply, supporting an integrated value chain from growing to end-market products.
Our journey will be taken in partnership with local fishermen whose livelihoods and identity are linked to the sea.
Fishing and seaweed farming are complementary. They require similar skills and knowledge of the sea to be successful. Both are cyclical but peak at different times of the year. Kelp farming and creel fishing provide an anchor for many other marine benefits. When combined with other loch users a potential framework for loch stewardship must be possible.
Protection, conservation, and enhancement of the oceans and our coasts can deliver environmental, economic and community benefits: water quality improvements, fish nursery habitats, lobster hatcheries, multi-trophic aquaculture and data collection can all act as a catalyst for community-based environmental projects. Our challenge is to bring these together through a shared passion for our seas and lochs.
Our vision is simple
Grow seaweed, involve local communities, improve our marine environment.
Kaly Group originated from forced lockdown and chance. The pandemic gave time to reflect, time to review circumstances and time to hope for the future. Bruce Hare, an architect, developer and entrepreneur with decades of business building experience was confined to a new paradigm. Like everyone, he had no idea how long the confinement would last, no idea of what lay ahead and for the first time in his career no idea what tomorrow might bring. Bruce was open to inspiration.
By chance, an article related to work the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) carried out on seaweed cultivation near Oban triggered intrigue. Further research into the versatility and unique properties of seaweed sparked an idea. Could kelp be grown alongside creel fishing to supplement income?
The fascination continued until there was freedom to move to his house on Skye. The idea of farming kelp developed in discussion with local lobster fisherman and friend Iain Matheson. Both became engrossed in the potential of growing kelp and the positive impacts it could have within Loch Bay and on the Waternish community.
A second but defining chance - Bren Smith’s book ‘Eat Like a Fish’ was in Matheson’s array of charts. Consumed cover to cover in one sitting inspired a business concept. Lockdowns proved the ideal setting for connections to be made and a business plan to be developed. KALY’s team expanded quickly to nine multi-disciplined members - fisherman, photographer, designer, scientist, community liaison, financier, systems analyst, accountant and developer.
Remote working suits KALY team members. We are geographically spread throughout the UK but have a permanent base in a converted Thomas Telford church and manse on Waternish in northwest Skye. The location is idyllic, with panoramic views overlooking our proposed first farm site.
The journey began in earnest in November 2022 when TriCapital Angel Investors, supported by Scottish Enterprise, put their faith in the KALY team with an initial seed investment. We move forward with confidence. The journey ahead will be challenging. Pioneering spirit and total belief in our vision and values drives us forward.
Aberdeenshire native studied architecture at Dundee University and Urban Planning at Edinburgh University before forming JM Architects (JMA) and building a multi-disciplinary consultancy with over 500 people located in offices throughout the UK. Formed Duddingston House Properties (DHP) in 2000 based in London and Edinburgh following an MBO from JMA. DHP has focused primarily on commercial leisure and alternative developments in JV with Institutional Investors. In the last 15 years funded start-up companies in Retail Fashion and Design and remains an advisor and shareholder to several today. Lives between Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye.
Is a seasoned corporate financier, hotel & real estate investor, and developer. Passionate for the hospitality business, he initially embarked on an operational career in the industry that took him to Germany, Belgium and China. After returning to university, Taco moved to London where he started at UBS Warburg as an investment banker, transitioning into the world of real estate private equity, where he worked for the likes of Soros Real Estate and Strategic Value Partners. Taco has worked extensively with both institutional investors and family offices in Europe and the Middle East as a transactional and operating partner, in both hospitality and real estate. Post-pandemic, Taco is determined to do his part in leaving the world a better place for his children and has developed a great interest in sustainable investing.
Is an experienced impact investor and entrepreneur, most recently as Director of Investments and Business Development for Waterfund, a private investment firm he helped create focused on solving global water scarcity through investments in technology and infrastructure. In this capacity, Daniel built and scaled a water desalination and distribution business in the Middle East and led venture capital investments within food and ag-tech companies in the United States. Prior to Waterfund Daniel worked at Hanson Asset Management in London, advising family offices on direct investments with a real assets focus. He also advises closely-held businesses in the UK and the US on implementing growth and M&A strategies.
From the fishing village of Port Seton, Stevie joined his father on his fishing boat. Stevie then joined the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency and graduated from Heriot Watt University, leading to work at SEPA, with Habitat Enhancement and Emerging Issues specialties. Stevie returned to the sea as a research vessel skipper with SAMS and OEL Ltd. Since 2015, Stevie has built the consultancy Argyll Aquaculture Ltd to create and support a seaweed cultivation industry in Scotland. Stevie brings many years of practical seaweed farming experience in site selection, licensing, bespoke farm design, growing line deployment to harvest handling and product logistics. Stevie has led the industry in seaweed farm development at scale.
Studied Public Administration at WSPIA School of Law and Public Administration in Rzeszow taking his first steps in career as Public Officer at the District Police Headquarters in Rzeszow, Poland. Radek moved to the UK in 2012 to study Business and Administration at North Lindsey College. In 2014 joined Duddingston House Properties where he became acquainted with Financial Planning and Analysis through involvement in variety of Property Development projects across Scotland. Radek has a background in electronics and is a self-taught web developer. More recently he became interested in world climate change and took part in the University of Edinburgh’s programme for Climate Change Risk in Finance.
Grew up on a croft and spent much of his early years learning about the sea. Educated at Lews Castle College gaining his inshore skipper's ticket followed by Fleetwood Nautical College specialising in Nautical Science. Iain worked off-shore in the oil and gas industry followed by a period working on some of the biggest offshore renewable energy projects in the world. Iain then returned to Skye in 2017 and began his own local business venture fishing for lobster and shellfish and supplying local hospitality businesses. The business has now expanded within buying and exporting shellfish on the Island and worldwide.
Richard Brown has an electronics background and when turning to accountancy, he discovered that there was a certain synergy in identifying and managing a research and development tax claim as one of the first major claims of its type in Scotland. It was in the same software company that he was an early adopter of a government Investment scheme and also provided the accounting due diligence for both Danish venture capital and a subsequent multi-million acquisition by a major North American company. With many years of ‘ground up’ consulting in various industry sectors including both the weird and the wonderful, Richard has a wealth of experience including a particular affinity with financial modelling.
Grace Kelly Hare was educated at Loretto school and studied Performing Arts at Northumbria University. Moved to Dubai in 2012 and built a career within Hospitality Operations Management. Relocated in 2020 and is currently based on The Isle of Skye, self-employed and managing various Community based ventures for UAE clients.
Alan supplied the photographs for this website. A frequent visitor to Skye for many years before moving here 15 years ago, his passion is photographing this picturesque island. Living in Waternish he is ideally placed to document the project, and as a computer consultant for the last 30 years offers local IT support as well.