In a statement the firm said it had struggled to raise funds for the trials after "a highly effective disinformation campaign waged by anti-offset crusaders". It has "radically downsized" while it considers its options.
A range of organisations had criticised the trials over fears about the effectiveness of iron fertilisation, possible side effects and the scheme’s legality. Sea Shepherd, the conservation organisation better known for its battles with whaling ships, had also vowed to interrupt the trials.
The 82 countries party to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution agreed in November that large-scale fertilisation was not justified given current scientific uncertainties (ENDS Report 395, p 29 ).