Seal scarer maker OTAQ is moving into the shrimp equipment market by investing in Minnowtech. Photo: OTAQ.

OTAQ expands from salmon into shrimp with Minnowtech

Marine technology group OTAQ has announced an investment in American aquaculture tech company Minnowtech LLC, which supplies an imaging platform that enables shrimp farmers to measure how many shrimp they have in their ponds to optimise feeding.

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Lancaster-based OTAQ is best known in salmon farming for its SealFence predator deterrent but has also been working with other members of a consortium to produce a low cost early warning system for potentially dangerous plankton and algae and has developed a video-based biomass and pellet detection system.

The company said in a press release that it now aims to broaden its reach into innovative technologies to help farmers grow other species such as shrimp.

Chris Hyde: Investment fits OTAQ's strategy.

Decades of experience

It added that its investment gives Minnowtech an industrial partner with technical expertise and decades of in-house aquaculture industry experience to help further develop and launch Minnowtech’s emerging technology.

OTAQ Group will additionally assist with hardware development using its expertise in underwater acoustics and electronics. 

“We are delighted to have made this deal to support Minnowtech and help them commercialise the fantastic technology they have developed,” said OTAQ’s chief commercial officer, Chris Hyde.

“We believe aquaculture is the key to sustainable food production and are very excited to be involved in a technology specifically aimed at the shrimp sector. This investment fits very well within our strategy.”

Suzan Shahrestani: OTAQ's expertise will be a great advantage.

Development expertise

Suzan Shahrestani, founder and chief executive of Minnowtech, said: “Having OTAQ Group involved is great for us and validates the hard work that the team here has put into our technology.

“Having access to their product development expertise and market knowledge is going be a great advantage for us. We look forward to working closely with OTAQ in the future.” 

Minnowtech was one of six start-ups that took part in the Hatch aquaculture accelerator programme in Cork, Ireland in 2018.