Seafood Expo North America returns to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre after an enforced absence because of Covid.

Ace Aquatec prepares a stunning show in Boston

Dundee-headquartered aquaculture technology firm Ace Aquatec will continue its international marketing efforts next week at Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in Boston.

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Ace Aquatec, which has a sales team in Norway, was one of just a handful of overseas companies able to take part in Aqua Nor, in Trondheim, last August, when onerous Covid quarantine requirements led to most foreign companies staying away.

The company also took part in Aqua Sur in Puerto Montt, Chile, last week, and now turns its attention to North America, where it will be represented by its North American sales manager Sam Bowman.

Sam Bowman: "The humane treatment of farm animals, including fish, has become an important topic for consumers and retailers in North America." Photo: Ace Aquatec.

Humane slaughter

The sales boss has previously held senior management positions at salmon farmers Cermaq and Mowi and will share Ace Aquatec’s latest developments in humane in-water fish stunners, helped by the use of augmented reality (AR) models and demonstrations.

Ace Aquatec’s stunners render fish fully unconscious in less than a second, leading to more humane slaughter.

Some high-profile exhibitors including Mowi, Cermaq and seafood sales giant Peter Pan withdrew from SENA in January because of the risks posed by the omicron variant of Covid-19, but others such as Cooke Inc. will be at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre for the event, which runs from March 13-15.

An important topic

Bowman said: “Seafood Expo is a great opportunity for Ace Aquatec to showcase its stunning technology at an in-person event. The humane treatment of farm animals, including fish, has become an important topic for consumers and retailers in North America, and Ace Aquatec’s technology is leading the way to more responsible fish farming.”

Ace Aquatec chief executive Nathan Pyne-Carter said: “It is fantastic to be making an eagerly anticipated return to physical events like Seafood Expo. We are looking forward to showcasing the huge inroads we have made in recent years in research and development and give an insight into what Ace Aquatec can offer the market.”

Different applications

Ace Aquatec has developed different stunning applications for different purposes. The original model is used to stun large fish such as salmon and yellowtail kingfish at slaughter before they are bled, and another model is designed to be boat-mounted, for the harvesting of sea bream and sea bass.

Two other models are used for culling. One culls aquaculture by-catch such as cleaner fish caught up in salmon harvests and wild fish caught in salmon pens, and the other is used to cull low-grade salmon parr that don’t have the potential to be commercially performing smolts.

If the fish are culled using anaesthetic, they are unfit for consumption and must be incinerated. But fish culled with the stunner can be used for pet food, fish oils, and food for farm or zoo animals.

Seeking smolts

Writing for Fish Farming Expert at Christmas, Pyne-Carter said New Zealand King Salmon is seeking to take advantage of this by actively seeking smolt producers around the world and introducing Ace Aquatec’s technology to enable it to buy the excess and use it in its premium pet food business and fish oils.

Ace Aquatec also offers or is developing automated waterjet bleeding, gentle contactless pumping, above and below the water predator deterrent systems, 3D biomass cameras and sea lice removal systems.