Frank Allen is the founder of Blue Ocean Environmental. He’s angry about the state of our oceans, and passionate about cleaning them up—not only from an environmental standpoint, but also to reclaim material that can be put to good use rather than pollute a vast and vital food source. His work has taken him around the world, where he’s met countless people and had invaluable experiences—making his mission that much more important.
Cultivating respect for the planet
Frank grew up in rural Virginia, and his family had little in the way of economic means. This no doubt contributed to his intolerance for wasteful practices. His family sustained itself on food grown in their own garden, which also taught Frank at an early age to have respect for the planet and what it can produce when cared for properly.
At the age of 18, Frank left home and moved to Los Angeles, where he found work at a local hardware store. He later established himself as a painting contractor, and subsequently made his way back to the eastern U.S., where he worked as a general contractor.
Recognizing opportunities to reduce waste, eliminate pollution, and feed people
In 2006, Frank was in Brazil for an Ironman Triathlon (he’s completed seven of them) and had an anchovy with one of his meals. He noticed the fish was served whole, and people were eating meat from the head of the fish. Frank quickly recognized how much of this meat was being wasted in the U.S., where fish heads are typically ground and discarded right into the ocean. During subsequent travels to Asia, Frank saw people eating fish heads there, too. He made it his goal to create markets overseas and bring fish head samples to Asia for human consumption.
Today, Live Online Seafood reclaims almost four million pounds of fish heads per year, and is linked to approximately 200 jobs
The company processes the product in Alaska and ships it to Asia where it is sold to markets and restaurants. Frank estimates as many as 200 jobs to be involved in the enterprise–either directly or indirectly–including those in fishing, cold storage, distribution, dock services, delivery, and restaurants.
Saving the oceans, saving lives
Live Online Seafood has taken Frank to countless ports and seafood markets around the world, where he noticed another deplorable practice: fishing vessels and container ships that were abandoned and polluting the bodies of water where they were discarded. In line with his mission to stop the ocean from being treated as an unregulated disposal site, he established Blue Ocean Environmental. His first vision for the company is ship recycling on a grand scale—repurposing salvageable components, disposing of other components responsibly, and preventing further pollution of the oceans.