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OTAQ takes bigger stake in shrimp counter developer

UK-based aquaculture and offshore industry technology supplier OTAQ has increased its stake in Minnowtech, which uses OTAQ’s sonar technology in its proprietary shrimp imaging platform.

OTAQ has elected to convert all of its 6% Convertible Loan Notes issued by Minnowtech into ordinary shares in the US-based firm. It has also agreed to a further equity investment of $150,000 in Minnowtech. These moves increase OTAQ’s total shareholding in the company to 15.2%.

Minnowtech’s technology enables commercial-scale shrimp producers to accurately and automatically measure shrimp abundance in order to optimise feeding regimes and reduce disease challenges.

Exclusive supplier

OTAQ said its additional investment and an agreement for OTAQ to supply Minnowtech on an exclusive basis with sonar hardware for its shrimp biomass analysis systems strengthened a existing development agreement between the companies.

“We have been very impressed by the progress and opportunity at Minnowtech,” said OTAQ chief executive Phil Newby in a press release.

“Our strategy is focused on exploiting technical collaborations with those who have capabilities in related product areas and with access to new markets for OTAQ. Minnowtech fits this brief well and both sides can see additional opportunities emerging as the developments progress.”

Accelerated development

Minnowtech co-founder Ken Malone said: “Working closely with the OTAQ group over the last year has accelerated our product development as they bring their experience in commercialising technologies to the partnership. We’re excited to expand this relationship as we move into full scale product launch.”

OTAQ, which has offices in Lancaster, Ulverston and Aberdeen in the UK and Puerto Montt in Chile, is best known in aquaculture for its SealFence predator deterrents and is developing biomass counting and algal bloom early warning systems for fish farmers.