FISHTEK MARINE: Sea life and fishermen’s friend launches crowdfunding campaign | City & Business | Finance
The equity investment raise by the Devon-based designer and manufacturer will support product development and is being run by ethical specialist Triodos Bank on its new platform.
Fishtek tackles bycatch, the accidental death or capture and eventual discard of species by fleets.
Every year some 300,000 dolphins, porpoises and whales, 300,000 seabirds and 250,000 turtles endure agonising deaths entangled in gear.
“The toll is tragic. But our technology is to be used with equipment and stops damage to it, so it’s in the interest of the industry as well as the environment,” says fisheries biologst Pete Kibel who with his engineer brother Ben founded the company in 2016.
Its ranges include a cost-effective and easy-to-use ‘pingers’ that send warning sounds about gear to dolphins and whales and ProGlow, a permanent replacement for chemical light sticks used to catch swordfish – currently 700 million sticks are dumped in the sea every year.
The company, who patented designs have no real rival globally, sells to fishing companies and distributors in 35 countries and forecasts £370,000 of sales this year after seeing 290 per cent growth.
The impact of the television series Blue Planet in raising public concern and tighter US marine regulations on seafood firms exporting there have “transformed demand for our products.
They do not affect the profitability of a catch but increase it,” says Kibel who has an electronic device that warns off sharks that’s ready for commercial sea trials if Fishtek gets the backing.
The RSPB’s Rory Crawford commented: “Fishtek have been great collaborators in the fight to eliminate bycatch in fisheries, one of the biggest threats facing seabirds. Their work has been innovative yet savvy to the everyday practicalities of fishing – so whether it’s producing something that’s well-established ‘best practice’ or genuine innovation, we’ve found them to be brilliant partners in saving threatened seabirds.”
The investment window remains open until early September.
The Triodos Bank crowdfunding platform which opened to investors in January, enables people to invest directly in equity or bonds issued by established charities or businesses delivering positive social and environmental impact.
They have all beenextensively screened by Triodos for the viability of their business model and the credibility of the management team.