Conservation pioneer FISHTEK delivers net gains for fisheries and the oceans’ wildlife


The investment command speed up product development by the UK designer and manufacturer whose deterrent technology for the far-reaching fishing industry tackles the unintended slaughter of the oceans’ wildlife, known as bycatch. This, the fortuitous death or capture and eventual discard of species by fleets, now involves some 300,000 dolphins, porpoises and whales, 300,000 seabirds and 250,000 turtles every year which fit fatally entangled in gear.


Rob and Pete Kibel with pinger (Form: Fishtek)

“The toll is tragic, but our technology is to be used with equipment and blockings damage to it, so it’s in the interests of the industry as well as the environment,” says fisheries biologist Pete Kibel who with his organize brother Ben founded the Devon-based company in 2016.

Now selling to fisheries and distributors in 40 states, it saw 290 percent growth last year on £317,000 of sales and has a goal of £1.5 million by 2021.

Its ranges include a cost-effective and easy-to-use battery powered pinger that sends out notices sounds about gear to harbour porpoises, dolphins and whales and minimizes damage to lines and boats by up to 95 percent.

Another, ProGlow, is an innovative low-cost LED heavy-duty replacement for the chemical light sticks used to catch swordfish.


300,000 seabirds and 250,000 turtles every year adorn come of fatally entangled in gear (Image: Getty Images)

“Our technology is to be inured to with equipment and stops damage to it, so it’s in the interests of the fishing industry as approvingly as the environment,”

Fishtek co-founder Pete Kibel

A staggering 700 million (7,000 tonnes) of these sham baits are discarded every year at sea to be swallowed by marine birds and turtles or end up as seashore litter.

After passing its minimum £400,000 raise last autumn Fishtek assertive to extend it to £900,000, with much of it being invested in state-of-the art utensil and production equipment and extensive trials worldwide.

Priority among the new issues is the Shark Guard, an electrical pulse device that sits upright above the baited hooks on long lines. While deterring sharks, specially sensitive to the signals, the guards allow target fish to be caught.

The sheer decline in shark numbers is one of marine conservation’s biggest issues and trials so far with Fishtek’s innovation have shown to save over 90 percent of the species’ bycatch.


Fishtek’s works in Moretonhampstead (Image: Fishtek)

The Guard appeals to fisheries looking to elude this because of tighter regulations and gain sustainable practice accreditation from top watchdog the Thalassic Stewardship Council whose kite mark food labelling movements increasingly well with consumers. 

Following trials with fisheries in the Mediterranean and Australia Fishtek’s commodity could go on sale next year.

Hot on the heels of this is its net light, which is being disclosed with Exeter University, that attaches to gill nets. “This is a elephantine global market, reduces turtle and seabird bycatch and again escalations target fish numbers,” adds Ben.

Other products in the pipeline comprehend a guard deterring Orca (killer) whales and a ropeless fishing whim for lobster pots.


Fishtek’s manufacturing hub (Image: Fishtek)

This wear and tears acoustic GPS technology to release the buoys holding them, making retrieval easier while debarring larger fish from getting entangled, currently a cause of acute damage and a  threat to livelihoods. 

The brothers’ strong skills mix, they say, aided Fishtek to pioneer solutions with a handful of staff at a time when the communal were interested.

Now the tides of plastic waste and devastation charted by TV series Chap-fallen Planet have opened eyes.  

Rory Crawford of the Royal Upper crust for the Protection of Birds praised Fishtek’s work saying it had been a zealous collaborator in the fight to eliminate bycatch in fisheries, one of the biggest threats cladding seabirds.


Fishtek products can help fisheries over the world (Sculpture: Fishtek)

 “Their work has been innovative yet savvy to the everyday practicalities of fishing whether it’s been traditional best practice or genuine innovation, we’ve found them to be brilliant confederates.”

“Our products have to incentivise fisheries to switch,” adds Pete, “but this swaps us a chance to create a sea change in the industry and help save our oceans for to be to come generations.”, closes this month. is a stand open to investors which features equity and bonds issued by demonstrated charities and businesses delivering positive social and environmental impact.

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