Norwegian fish health, environmental and technical consultancy group Åkerblå Group is investing in British marine and environmental survey specialist Ocean Ecology Ltd. The companies will fast-track the build-up of a joint service offering for the aquaculture industry in the UK and Ireland.
“We are the leading player within fish health, environment and technical operations to the Norwegian aquaculture sector. In recent years, several clients have asked us for support in the UK. Through our investment in Ocean Ecology, we obtain the necessary local competence, equipment and laboratory services that enable us to provide the best and most cost-efficient support to the aquaculture industry in UK and Ireland too,” said Åkerblå Group CEO Roger Sørensen.
Åkerblå is the only company in the world with accreditation for fish health services. Some of its technical services are also accredited.
Åkerblå Group acquires 51% of the shares in Gloucester-based Ocean Ecology. The founders and current owners of Ocean Ecology will retain the remaining 49% and continue to develop the company together with Åkerblå Group.
“Ocean Ecology and Åkerblå are companies with a history of healthy growth and financial performance. We will together become an even more robust and reliable partner for our aquaculture clients in the UK,” Roger Sørensen added.
Ocean Ecology was established in 2013 and is recognised as a UK leader in issues relating to impacts of human activities on marine ecological communities and are considered industry leaders in subjects ranging from survey design, marine monitoring and habitat mapping.
Ocean Ecology consists of a 20-strong team, primarily marine biologists. It specialises in providing a range of marine survey, laboratory and consultancy services for projects in both the coastal and offshore zones to feed into the environmental impact assessment process, monitoring programmes and applied research. The company has fully equipped laboratory facilities and headquarters located on the banks of the Severn Estuary in Gloucestershire and has recently opened a Scottish office in Oban.
“We are delighted to partner with Åkerblå Group which allows us to offer a much broader range of complementary services, expertise and experience to our ever-expanding customer base both in the UK and internationally,” said Ocean Ecology’s technical director Ross Griffin.
“Teaming up with Åkerblå Group provides us with access to world-class technical expertise in fish health and environmental services which is a very exciting prospect for the team. Partnering with Åkerblå Group will enable us to fast-track our joint offering to the aquaculture sector whilst broadening our service offering to our key offshore renewable clients.”
Setting up in Scotland
Recognising the importance of having access to specialist services available at the doorstep of existing and prospective aquaculture clients, Åkerblå Group and Ocean Ecology have already set up a Scottish presence at the European Marine Science Park in Oban.
This will provide a platform for delivering its combined competence right at the centre of to the Scottish aquaculture industry.
“Establishing a physical presence in Scotland from the onset was seen as priority to get even closer to our clients based in Scotland, in line with their expectations of having specialist services available at their doorstep,” Roger Sørensen commented.
Following completion of the transaction, Åkerblå Group’s CEO, Roger Sørensen, and CFO Frode Westbye will join the Ocean Ecology board of directors.