The equity raise for shares in the organisation is enabling Fishtek to develop its range of products, conduct more live sea trials and help enhance global awareness.
Fishtek Marine was born out of a passion to help tackle the worldwide problem of marine bycatch, which is having a significant impact on many ocean species and causing some to be threatened with extinction. Established by Totnes-based brothers Pete and Ben Kibel, a marine biologist and engineer respectively, they started developing products to deter animals from nets using their own money. However, in order to further product development, drive sales and raise awareness they launched the investment crowdfunding offer on the Triodos Bank platform.
The organisation already received £400,000 of the capital raised at the first close of the share offer in December 2018. This money has primarily been used to help develop and test a range of products:
- SharkGuard - to minimise the huge global problem of millions of sharks being killed, injured or caught by longline fishing vessels every year. Early prototype trials have demonstrated a 90% reduction in bycatch. Commercial Sea trials take place in France this summer, will enable Fishtek to further measure the effectiveness of SharkGuard in action.
- NetLight - hundreds of thousands of sea turtles are caught in fishing nets every year. This product illuminates the nets, so turtles, seabirds and dolphins see and avoid them. Sea trials are currently being carried out in Northern Cyprus, El Salvador and Peru. Recent results from South American trials showed 80% reductions in bycatch across all species.
- Banana Pingers - to minimise cetacean (such as dolphins and porpoises) bycatch. Fishtek has been working closely with the Cornish fishing industry and sharing evidence about the efficacy of pingers which emit sound to deter animals from being caught in nets. Pingers will hopefully be adopted by some of the Cornish fishing fleet in winter 2019 following a 100% reduction in bycatch rate during trials.
Pete Kibel, founder of Fishtek Marine, said: “This investment is totally transformative. It is enabling us to take the organisation to the next level in both product development and global awareness of what we do and the problem we’re trying to tackle.
No one wants to see marine species become injured or die in fishing nets, and our products help to guide animals away and keep them safe. We’d like to thank every investor who has supported us and invested in our future, and we can’t wait to bring them on this exciting journey with us in helping to conserve more marine animals, so bycatch becomes a thing of the past.”
Dan Hird, head of Corporate Finance at Triodos Bank UK, said: “Fishtek has captured the hearts and minds of our investors who strongly believe in its purpose and products. We’re extremely proud to have been able to raise the full investment on the platform and can already see the fantastic impact the initial funding has had on the organisation. We wish them great success in the future and look forward to seeing the full impact this transformative funding will have on Fishtek, and its work in alleviating marine bycatch around the world.”
Notes to editor
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About Triodos Bank
Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.
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