Ace scoops second Queen’s Award
DUNDEE based Ace Aquatec has won a prestigious Queen’s Award for the second year in a row after its electronic stunner was recognised for animal welfare innovation.
The Award for Enterprise Innovation marks the success of the company’s in-water electric stunning system in rendering fish unconscious before being processed.
The honour, which coincides with the Queen’s 93rd birthday weekend, celebrates British businesses and organisations which excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development.
It is the highest official UK award for British businesses and is made by the Queen based on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Ace Aquatec is one of 201 winners across the UK this year. Last year, the firm’s Queen’s Award victory was based on the contribution its acoustic predator deterrents made to the Scottish economy, reducing seal attacks at fish farms.
The innovation behind this year’s success – the Humane Stunner Universal – is a fish processing system designed to minimise fish stress during harvesting.
The stunner, developed over many years, works by using electricity to stun fish while still in the water, meaning they are immediately unconscious.
From first sales in Scotland – where Scottish Sea Farms collaborated in the system’s development – Ace Aquatec’s innovative welfare technology is now in farms around the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Greece, the US and Canada.
Next for the Ace Aquatec team is another visit to Buckingham Palace for the awards ceremony, hosted by Prince Charles.
And with the company preparing for the international launch later this year of its newest innovation – the world’s first underwater 3D biomass camera – it might be targeting a third win in 2020.
Ace Aquatec managing director Nathan Pyne-Carter said: ‘Being recognized last year for the positive difference our predator deterrents are having on the Scottish economy was amazing, and to be acknowledged again this year for the wider global impact our electric stunning technology has on animal welfare is a huge honour.
‘International growth over the last couple of years has felt like a bit of a whirlwind but it’s the result of years of experimentation, refinement and a firm belief it’s possible to improve fish welfare without sacrificing on quality or efficiency.’
Ace Aquatec’s head of sales and marketing, Mike Forbes, added: ‘We work with fish farmers all over the world and everyone we speak to is looking for ways to improve sustainability and animal welfare.
‘Supply chains have never been more transparent and the aquaculture sector has been quick to embrace any new technologies that improve welfare standards and environmental impact.’
Leader of Dundee City Council, Councillor John Alexander, said: ‘I think it is fantastic that this local company has won this prestigious award for the second year running.
‘Ace Aquatec have built a thriving business from their home of Dundee, where they operate as a global supplier of aquaculture solutions.
‘Ace Aquatec are creating local jobs and making a contribution to the Dundee economy through this cutting edge work in their field.’