Salar Pursuits' Smoltscreen is designed to fit inside an existing net pen. It is due to undergo a commercial trial in Norway.

Innovative salmon pen lice shield nets backing from angel investor

Commercial trial will go ahead in Norway after intervention from Abacus Group


Salar Pursuits, a Scotland-based company that has developed permeable lice and algae/jellyfish bloom shields that fit inside net pens, has been given a financial boost from a corporate angel investor.

The undisclosed sum from Abacus Group will enable Salar to carry out full scale commercial trials of its Smoltscreen and Bloomshield innovations in Norway.

Salar Pursuits has already carried out a successful proof-of-concept trial with the Marine Institute of Ireland (MI) in a 50 m3 sentinel pen at the MI’s trial aquaculture site in Cashel Bay, Galway.

Andrew and Colette Bett, founders of Salar Pursuits, have received financial backing from angel investor Abacus Group.

Long-term perspective

In a joint press release, Salar Pursuits and Abacus said: “Abacus Group, a private family business, is a professional and committed Belgian shareholder with a long-term perspective. Abacus invests with a value mindset in companies with a clear strategy, solid management and a culture of entrepreneurship, performance, and integrity. The current portfolio of investments includes approximately 30 participations covering multiple sectors. Abacus is the main shareholder of Matexi, the leading Belgian real estate development company with activities in Belgium, grand duchy of Luxembourg, and Poland. Abacus invests in mainly European equity, whether public, small or midcaps, private equity, equity funds or venture capital.

“Abacus decided to invest in Salar Pursuits, next to other investments in the aquaculture industry, as an angel investor. The goal of Abacus is to support Andrew and Colette Bett, the founders of Salar Pursuits, in their endeavour to solve an important ecological challenge in the salmon farming industry and at the same time bring increased financial performance to salmon farming businesses.”

Abacus Group owns the biggest stake in Belgian real estate development company Matexi.

Sales within 18 months

Salar managing director Andrew Bett told Fish Farming Expert: “Following successful proof of concept trials in Ireland, we are preparing for full scale commercial trials in Norway of both the Smoltscreen and the Bloomshield.

“This investment from Abacus will allow Salar Pursuits to conduct these commercial trials, with the support of collaborating suppliers, through to fully proven commercial performance and into worldwide sales within the next 18 months. This timescale is in line with our original ambitions and is in keeping with our core purpose of providing an environmentally sustainable, low cost, solution to the current problems of naturally occurring sea lice, micro and macro jellyfish, seal and tuna attacks, algal blooms, and fish escapes.

“If the challenges of sea lice and the collection and recycling of fish waste from inshore farms can be solved by our systems in full commercial production, we believe licences for new farms will be more readily issued. Our business model is focused on supporting existing traditional inshore salmon and sea trout farms to grow sustainably.”