Nathan Pyne-Carter gives an interview after winning an IoD Scotland award in May.

Aquaculture innovator shortlisted for top UK business award

Nathan Pyne-Carter, managing director of Dundee-based aquaculture technology provider Ace Aquatec, has been named as a finalist in the Innovation category of the Institute of Directors’ National Director of the Year Awards.

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His inclusion in the final was confirmed this week and comes after he was named Director of the Year in the Innovation category of the IoD Scotland awards in May.

It was the first time there had been an innovation category among the awards, and the first time Ace Aquatec had entered the IoD awards, just three months after joining the organisation.

Sir Trevor McDonald will host the awards ceremony.

Technology development

The UK awards ceremony will be held at The Brewery, London on Friday, October 18 and will be hosted by television presenter Sir Trevor McDonald.

Speaking after winning the IoD Scotland award in May, Pyne-Carter said: “Obviously there are people who are leaders in their own sector who we were going up against, and it was a really nice surprise to find that what we’re doing in the aquaculture space is perceived well and to get this acknowledgement for the hard work that we’re doing in that space.

“It’s good to see that compared to other sectors we are also standing out for our innovation and technology development.”

As well as the IoD award, Ace Aquatec this year received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Innovation for the second year in a row, for its Humane Stunner Universal (HSU) which stuns fish and other seafood such as crustaceans while they are still in the water, facilitating more humane slaughter.

Nathan Pyne-Carter with the company's 3D biomass camera. Click on image to enlarge. Photo: FFE.

Sea lice solution

The company’s electric fish, a fake dead salmon that scares predatory seals away from salmon cages by giving them an electric shock, was also shortlisted in the Animal Welfare category of this year’s Aquaculture Awards held in Edinburgh in May.

Ace Aquatec counts each of Scotland’s top six salmon farmers among its customers, and has a growing international customer base. Its core business is acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) to deter seals from attacking salmon pens, but it has also had increasing success with its HSU.

It also supplies a 3D biomass camera for salmon cages and is working on a solution for sea lice removal without over-stressing fish.

“Backed by a grant from the Humane Slaughter Association, our development team is hard at work refining and testing our first prototype,” the company states on its website.