Åkerblå secures oceanographic weight through UK acquisition

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Norwegian fish health service firm Åkerblå invests in British Ecospan Environmental through its subsidiary Ocean Ecology.

With this, the fish health company, in addition to industry-leading marine ecological services, will now be able to offer hydrographic and oceanographic surveys combined with market-leading hydrodynamic modeling and specialized advice in environmental permitting and planning.

“We are the leading provider of fish health and environmental services to the Norwegian aquaculture industry. In recent years, several of our customers have asked us for help in the UK. Through our investment in Ocean Ecology and now Ecospan Environmental, we have quickly established the necessary local expertise and resources required to deliver the interdisciplinary services our customers are looking for,” says Arvid Strømme, Chief International Officer of Åkerblå Group, in a statement.

The acquisition agreement means that Åkerblå buys 100 per cent of the shares in Ecospan Environmental through its British subsidiary Ocean Ecology. One of the original founders and owner of Ecospan Environmental will continue to develop the company together with Åkerblå and Ocean Ecology.

Arvid Strømme, VP International, Åkerblå Group. Photo: Åkerblå Group

The parties agree not to disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

Ecospan Environmental was started in 2006, but originates from AstraZeneca’s marine monitoring unit established in 1965. As such, Ecospan’s team of renowned researchers has solid expertise in conducting long-term ecological monitoring programs, hydrographic and oceanographic studies, sediment and water sampling, polluted land survey, marine environmental impact assessment and more.

“These specialties are well adapted to the portfolio of services we already provide, and therefore significantly strengthen our capacity and knowledge base in these areas,” says Ross Griffin, technical director at Ocean Ecology.

“Ecospan’s experience, resources and well-established customer base will help us meet the growing demand for our services in the UK and internationally, and will allow us to offer our growing portfolio of aquaculture customers the multidisciplinary solutions they are looking for,” he adds.

Ecospan will continue to be led by Michael Field, who has been part of the organization since 1996, with support from Ocean Ecology and the broader Åkerblå Group. Michael Field and his team know the company’s long-term monitoring contracts (some of which extend over 50 years) well and will ensure continuity in these ongoing projects.

All of Ecospan’s operations will continue to be located in Plymouth, thereby increasing Åkerblås’ geographical coverage in the United Kingdom with a local presence in the south-western region.