Grieg Kapital is joining the ownership side of Ocean Space Acoustics. The Trondheim-based startup has developed PingMe – a new technological solution that aims to reduce the amount of plastic and lost fishing gear in the ocean.
According to WWF, abandoned fishing gear is the deadliest form of plastic present in the ocean. Nets and other fishing equipment can potentially kill fish and marine life for years. So-called ghost fishing harms 66 percent of marine mammal species, half of all seabird species, and all sea turtle species. The number affected has doubled in 20 years.
“We believe that Ocean Space Acoustics, with its PingMe solution, will contribute to reducing the amount of lost fishing gear at sea, which is important for international sustainability efforts,” says Lars Jørgen Loktu, Investment Manager at Grieg Capital.
By using advanced sensors attached to the fishing gear as a «tag,» vessels with PingMe onboard can locate the equipment underwater, receiving data such as coordinates, depth, and temperature. Such information is also valuable for fishermen in their occupation.
“The EU has found that 20 percent of all fishing equipment is lost yearly at sea. This harms marine life and ecosystem and has adverse financial impacts on fishermen, including the cost of lost equipment and catch, and the time-consuming process of searching for missing gear,” says CEO of Ocean Space Acoustics, Thorvald Høyem.
“This technological solution is necessary to increase profitability, more sustainable fishing, and protect future ocean resources.”
Ocean Space Acoustics initially emerged from SINTEF and has had several investors since its inception in 2018, including Investinor and the research institute’s investment fund Venture V. The company recently raised 16 million in fresh capital, partly through Grieg Capital, which is joining the ownership side in a targeted share issue.
“Investing in the ocean and technology is spot-on regarding our investment strategy. The ocean has given Grieg Group opportunities to create growth and jobs in Norway and internationally,” says Lars Jørgen Loktu, Investment Manager at Grieg Capital.
Investinor’s spokesperson is also pleased with Grieg Capital’s entry into the investor side.
“We are delighted to welcome Grieg Capital as a partner. Working together, we can help build a forward-thinking, sustainable technology company that stems from the thriving research community in Trondheim,” says Maja Aursand Andersen, Investment Manager at Investinor.