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Marine conservation technology pioneer seeks expansion through crowdfunding campaign

UK technology business Fishtek Marine is crowdfunding £900,000 of equity to reduce marine bycatch

12-07-2018 |

Fishtek Marine, a pioneer in marine conservation technology, is seeking to raise £900,000 of equity through an investment crowdfunding campaign on the Triodos Crowdfunding platform.

Incorporated in 2016, the company has developed a range of products aimed at the global commercial fishing industry. The products are designed to reduce damage to fishing gear for fishing fleets, whilst at the same time deterring the unintentional death or capture of other marine species, known as bycatch.

Bycatch from fishing nets and lines is responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 dolphins, porpoises and whales, 300,000 seabirds and 250,000 turtles every year . Death in fishing gear due to entanglement is the leading threat to the 80 plus species of whales, dolphins and porpoises .

Set up by entrepreneurial brothers Pete and Ben Kibel, Totnes-based Fishtek Marine has a portfolio of products designed to be used alongside existing fishing gear.

The new capital raised through the share offer will be used to invest in the sales and marketing of these existing products, such as a 'pinger' which uses acoustics to alert dolphins, porpoise and whales to the presence of fishing gear. It will also be used for the development and testing of four new products which will be launched over the next three years.

The company sells its existing products to fishing companies and distributors in 35 countries and expects to generate sales of £370,000 in its second year of operations - a 290% increase from the previous year. Due to new fishing legislation and growing awareness of marine conservation, the directors are aiming to grow the business to £10 million turnover within five years. All products are designed and manufactured in Devon.

Rory Crawford, RSPB, said: "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."

Pete Kibel, Founder Director of Fishtek Marine, said: "We are passionate about global marine conservation and have spent many years researching solutions to the problem of bycatch which is one of the greatest threats to many endangered species in our oceans. By supporting our share offer, investors are not only investing in a UK marine technology company with exciting growth opportunities, but can also be assured that they are helping us to tackle this important environmental issue."

John Reardon - General Manager of Hercules SLR (US) Inc; Distributor to the US East Coast Fleet, said: "Fishers have to use Pingers to prevent bycatch of Harbour Porpoises and to be complaint with US fishing regulations and the Fishtek Pinger is clearly the market leader. It is much more durable, easy to use and cost effective than other brands of Pingers on the market. More and more fishermen are switching to the Fishtek Pinger as they hear about how well it performs"

Tad Dunsizer - Owner of Fisherman's Ideal Supply House; Distributor in Florida: "Over the past 10 years the viability of the fisheries has been threatened by False Killer Whale depredation. The Fishtek dolphin anti-depredation Pingers have reduced depredation rates by greater than 95% on the boats we supply to. The use of the Pingers greatly increases the success rate of the fishermen which allows them to catch more of their annual quota at a faster rate and raise up to $120,000 of extra revenue per year.  There are sixty long line vessels in this fishery alone and we expect a rapid uptake across the Gulf of Mexico over the next couple of years. They are improving the viability of this sustainable fishery."

Triodos Bank is the first registered UK bank to have launched an investment crowdfunding platform.  Depending on their personal circumstances, investors may benefit from Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) tax reliefs (both subject to final approval from HMRC). EIS income tax relief is available at 30% of the cost of shares, and SEIS at 50% of the cost of the shares, both of which can be claimed against an investor's income tax liability for the tax year in which the investment is made. The minimum investment for the share offer is £1,000 and a maximum investment of £100,000 applies.

Dan Hird, Head of Corporate Finance at Triodos Bank, said: "Fishtek Marine is a great example of an innovative business using technology and a commercial approach to tackle some of the most urgent marine conservation issues. We are very proud to be supporting Fishtek Marine and this share offer gives investors the opportunity to participate in an exciting early stage company managed by experienced businessmen." 

For more information and to register interest and receive alerts each time a new offer goes live, visit www.triodoscrowdfunding.co.uk.

This is a high-risk investment opportunity in the shares of an early stage company. The company has no plans to pay dividends (or returns) in the short term and although the directors aim to procure an exit for investors after the three-year SEIS/EIS qualifying period, there is no guarantee of this or of the future value of the shares. Investing in the shares of an unlisted company involves risks, including potential for loss of capital and future dilution, lack of dividends and lack of liquidity, and should only be considered as part of a diversified investment portfolio.

-Ends-

Notes to editors:
Fishtek Marine published an offer document dated July 2018. Applications can only be made on the basis of, and subject to, the terms and conditions of the information contained in the offer document which includes the terms and conditions of the Triodos Crowdfunding website. Fishtek Marine is a limited company registered in England with registered office at Unit 1a Webbers Way, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6JY (registered number 10448564).

For further information please contact:
Flora Hancox
T : 07841 828 567
flora.hancox@greenhousepr.co.uk

Will Spragg
T: 07528 307 499
will.spragg@greenhousepr.co.uk

About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €14.5 billion (2017) in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.

With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 43 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.

www.triodos.co.uk
www.knowwhereyourmoneygoes.co.uk
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Triodos Bank NV (incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands with limited liability, registered in England and Wales BR3012). Authorised by the Dutch Central Bank and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. Firm reference number 183366.

Investments offered on the crowdfunding platform are not readily realisable, which means that they may be difficult to sell and you may not get back the full amount invested. Investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and your capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed. Repayment of capital and interest or payment of dividends will be dependent on the success of the organisation's business model and past performance isn't a reliable indicator of future performance. You should always read the offer document in full before deciding whether or not to invest as it will cover risks specific to an individual investment. You can read more about the general risks associated with making these types of investments here. If you are unsure if any of these investments are right for you, you should contact an Independent Financial Adviser.

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