Dr Belinda Yaxley is the new Australia country manager for UK-based OTAQ.
Dr Belinda Yaxley is the new Australia country manager for UK-based OTAQ.

OTAQ hires Tasmanian aquaculture expert to boost sales Down Under

Yaxley brings significant industry and regional experience to role with UK-based tech supplier


Salmon and shrimp farming technology supplier OTAQ has appointed aquaculture certification specialist Dr Belinda Yaxley as country manager for Australia.

UK-based OTAQ said Yaxley will aim to increase awareness of the company’s existing products in Australia, New Zealand, and the wider Asia Pacific region.

She will also be responsible for the regional launch of OTAQ’s new Live Plankton Analysis System, focused on providing farmers with automated and early identification of phytoplankton species that can cause harmful algae blooms, one of the largest industry issues that impact on finfish health.

Yaxley has a PhD in zoology / animal biology from the University of Tasmania and has worked for two Tasmanian salmon farmers – Tassal and Petuna – as an environmental advisor and a sustainability and accreditation officer, respectively.

BAP coordinator

She is Australia and New Zealand country coordinator for the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification programme, and will continue her role as co-director of Tasmanian company, the Nautilus Collaboration, which provides specialised technical services to promote and achieve responsible business practices in aquaculture.

OTAQ, which also supplies the offshore industry, has also appointed a new sales representative for the United States. Mike Brawner has been tasked with growing OTAQ’s presence particularly within underwater electrical connectors in general and leak detection (OceanSense), cameras, ethernet integration equipment and laser measurement equipment for offshore survey, inspection, repair and maintenance activities.

Brawner’s most recent job was vice president of sales and business development at Underwater Systems Inc., focusing on the oil and gas business segments with particular focus on offshore, subsea oceanographic and aquaculture markets.

Exciting period

OTAQ chief commercial officer Richard Beesley said: “We are delighted that Belinda and Mike are joining our team.

“Belinda has significant experience in welfare in aquaculture, particularly defining insensibility for humane slaughter and product quality as well as welfare education on farms, and Mike has a proven track record in growing business presence in rapidly expanding market areas.

“We are currently going through a very exciting period of growth at OTAQ, and we are looking forward to working with Belinda and Mike. We are busy building the best team to help us reach our goals, and with their wealth of experience and expertise, we are confident that they will provide an extremely valuable contribution.”