Featured Companies

Ace Aquatec has grown from a family run business in Scotland into a global supplier of aquaculture technology solutions. Ace Aquatec partners with leading experts in different scientific fields to apply breakthrough technologies to the aquaculture and marine industries. The company founders recognized that science and innovation could accelerate the adoption of responsible fish farming practices. With recent investment from Aqua-Spark and Chroma Ventures, Ace Aquatec has increased the number and scale of its R&D projects and has become a global technology provider with customers throughout Europe, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.


Ace Aquatec developed award winning predator deterrence technology that keeps fish safe without harming marine mammals. Ace’s first product launched in 1999 used precision transducer technology to create an acoustic predator deterrent that was effective without harming the hearing of seals and other pinnipeds. After 20 years of research and development, Ace’s predator deterrents now combine acoustic and electric systems with thermal camera triggers to provide long-term effectiveness together with high animal welfare standards.

Ace Aquatec won the 2018 Queen’s Award for Innovation for successfully reducing conflict between seals and fish farms by pioneering new generation acoustic startle response (ASR) deterrents that work by changing animal behaviour rather than building a predator barrier. The latest US3 and RT1 low-frequency acoustic anti-predator solutions address concerns about disturbance to non-target species such as whales and porpoises and comply with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).


Safe, effective and humane slaughter is an essential component of responsible aquaculture. While investigating the growing use of electrical anaesthesia in the medical world, Ace Aquatec collaborated with research scientists to develop the first in-water electrical system for stunning salmonids. Fish react strongly to being taken out of water by thrashing around looking for water which causes significant stress and results in bruising and poor fish quality after slaughter. Ace’s award-winning electric stunner reduces fish stress and improves productivity by stunning fish while still in water.

During the harvesting process, fish from tanks, cages or well boats are gently pumped into the stun tube, where precisely calibrated voltages create an electric field that guarantees that 100% of the fish, regardless of size, lose consciousness immediately without any movement, struggle or suffering. Fish exiting the stunner are unconscious and easy to handle, can be bled promptly, and remain unconscious until death. Longer pre-rigor times and higher carcass quality with no spine damage or blood spotting is assured by the precision of the stun field and the gentle handling of the fish through the in-water electric stunner.

Ace Aquatec humane stunners are highly effective in both fresh water or salt water and are in commercial use for salmon, trout, yellowtail, sea bass and bream. The Ace stunning system can easily handle harvest rates of up to 100 tons per hour. The stun tube length is matched to the throughput requirements and can be straight or bent, floor-mounted or wall-mounted to suit the space available. The system is incredibly robust, has no moving parts and requires minimal maintenance. Ace’s humane fish stunner won the Aqua Nor Innovation Award in 2017 and the Global Aquaculture Alliance Innovation Award in 2019.


Ace Aquatec’s automated waterjet bleeder can be paired with the humane electric stunner to create an integrated stun and bleed solution that will improve productivity, animal welfare and product quality. The Ace waterjet bleeder uses robotic arms and precision, high-pressure waterjets instead of traditional physical blades which results in better hygiene since no cutting components touch the fish. There are no hidden costs such as replacing blunt blades and the waterjet cutters will last for the life of the machine. A camera locates the fish aorta for any size of fish, and the robotic arms reposition the waterjets with no human intervention. Avoiding the need for physical blades – which can fail at unexpected times – and automated recalibration for different sized fish, significantly reduces downtime and increases productivity.


Over the last ten years, Norwegian company Ecomerden has developed a heavy-duty, floating closed containment system, called the EcoCage, that has proven to be a successful production technology for salmonids, for both post-smolt and full-cycle production. Through multiple production cycles, the EcoCage has resulted in zero sea lice, very low mortality levels, faster growth rates and reduced feed conversion ratios. The EcoCage offers great potential for environmentally and economically sustainable production growth in the global salmon farming industry.

The EcoCage consists of a rugged floating collar of aluminium with a large reserve buoyancy designed to withstand rough farm conditions of 2.5 m significant wave height and 2 knots of current. Attached to the floating collar is a double containment wall made from a heavy-duty marine fabric on the outside and a conventional net pen on the inside. This double-walled system eliminates fish escapes and predator interactions, with efficient fish handling like that of an ordinary net pen system.

Water is pumped into the EcoCage through vertical suction pipes with adjustable intake depths of up to 40m, avoiding sea lice and toxic algae in the surface waters. A total exchange of water occurs every 70 minutes. Oxygen is added in two stages, resulting in an even distribution of oxygen-rich water throughout the entire water column, with the fish swimming continuously in low stress conditions. With the frequent water exchange, stable current and high oxygen saturation, salmon can be stocked at densities exceeding 50kg/m3 while maintaining optimal conditions for higher survival, faster growth and better fish welfare. A three-level back-up system for electricity and oxygen makes the EcoCage a low-risk closed containment system for superior production performance.


The EcoCage solid containment wall can be fitted with a waste collector at the bottom of the cage, where uneaten feed intermixed with fish faeces can be monitored in real time. This allows for precise regulation of the feeding rate according to the fish appetite at any time, achieving a higher growth rate and lower FCR compared to open net pens. After collection, the organic waste is pumped to a barge or onshore, where a de-watering station reduces the waste to 30% dry matter. The low-odour waste is stabilised and pumped into a shipping container for later use as fertilizer or for biofuel. The EcoCage is a circular solution for responsible fish farming.


Comparing the production costs of closed containment cages with open net pens, the most evident difference is the elimination of the costs related to sea lice. In open net pen production, high sea lice levels lead to high treatment costs, reduced fish growth due to the stressful treatments, and lower harvest weight and yields. The better fish welfare in closed pens means healthier and stronger fish, higher survival rates, lower FCR, larger harvest weights and a shorter time to market. The higher depreciation for closed pens combined with the addition of oxygen and a marginally higher energy cost, represents a small extra cost compared to the high biological costs associated with salmon production in open net pens. Typical cost of production in the EcoCage is approx. $3.50/kg compared to $4.25/kg or higher in open net pens.

The EcoCage can be easily moved from site to site and does not require the large areas necessary for land-based post-smolt or full-cycle production. EcoCages can be used in combination with open net pens for growing post-smolts to a larger size of 500-1,000 grams and then transferred to open net pens, or fish can be left to grow out in the closed pens until harvest size. There is also a square model split into 4 pens for broodstock holding. Ecomerden designs and manufactures closed containment EcoCages in sizes ranging from 7,500 m3 to 30,000 m3.


Hendrix Genetics is a global, multi-species animal breeding company backed by a centralized Research & Technology Centre and a global network of science and technology experts. Hendrix Genetics has a portfolio of leading brands in turkeys, traditional poultry, layers and swine, as well as salmon, shrimp and trout in the aquaculture sector. With its extensive reach, Hendrix Genetics collaborates with researchers and producers all over the world, testing animal genetics in various conditions to help find and implement genetic solutions that meet the challenges of farming systems around the globe.

Troutlodge is the world leader in trout genetics, founded in 1945 and part of the Hendrix Genetics group since 2014. At Troutlodge, continual improvement is a priority to help feed the world with more sustainable trout. The company is based in Washington state with a R&D centre in Idaho’s Magic Valley. Troutlodge maintains innovative breeding programs in bio-secure environments to produce superior quality trout eggs on a year-round basis.

Rainbow trout eyed-eggs are shipped to 60+ countries and are certified disease-free through an extensive, independent process that meets and exceeds World Animal Health Organization (OIE) standards. Troutlodge’s comprehensive fish health testing program is unparalleled in the industry, and all production facilities are certified to the Global G.A.P. Aquaculture Standards, Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Freedom Assured (RSPCA) standards.

Through consistency and dedication, Troutlodge applies solid science and genetic solutions to meet the evolving needs of the global trout industry. Genomic selection and other advanced breeding technologies produce continual improvements in growth speeds, survival rates, feed conversion ratios and harvest yields. Troutlodge’s superior trout genetics are built into its all-female trout eggs, available as both diploid and triploid (sterile) stock every week of the year.