Industry News

Fishtek Marine Wins Major Contract to Supply Norwegian Cod Fishery with Pingers

Fishtek Marine, has won a major contract to supply Norwegian fishermen with its ‘acoustic banana pingers’.

The company, a global leader in bycatch prevention technology, has sold 5,000 of the units to 500 boats operating in the main Norwegian cod fishery. The pingers attach to gillnets and reduce bycatch of harbor porpoise by emitting a regular pinging sound that deters the mammals from approaching the nets.

The Norwegian government says thousands of harbor porpoise drown in nets each year. In January 2021, the government brought in new legislation requiring the use of pingers on all gillnets in the main Norwegian cod fishery. The regulations have positioned Norway as a leader in marine mammal conservation.

The use of acoustic pingers will ensure that the Norwegian cod fishery retains its valuable MSC accreditation that benefits fishermen through a higher market price.

Fishtek Marine has been working with the Norwegian government and Norwegian Institute of Marine Research for the last four years to demonstrate the effectiveness of its pingers. This collaborative work contributed to the development of the new rules.

Pete Kibel, co-founder and director of Fishtek Marine said: “This is a great breakthrough both for the company in terms of a significant new market and also for marine conservation. It just shows how a collaborative approach between industry and regulators can drive product innovation and underpin conservation efforts.”

Whilst the pinger concept has been around for several years, it has taken Fishtek’s pioneering team of engineers and conservationists eight years to develop a unit that is sufficiently robust and cost effective for large scale roll out in commercial fisheries.

Fishtek Marine was born out of a passion to tackle the worldwide problem of marine bycatch, which is having a significant impact on many ocean species causing some to be threatened with extinction. Established by Totnes-based brothers Pete and Ben Kibel, a marine biologist and engineer respectively, Fishtek develop technologies to reduce sea bird, cetacean, shark and turtle bycatch and distribute their technology to fisheries around the globe.

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