BioMar taps into intelligent feeding trend with purchase of AQ1

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Aerial view of shrimp farm in Bohol, Philippines © GettyImages/Alexpunker
Aerial view of shrimp farm in Bohol, Philippines © GettyImages/Alexpunker

Related tags artificial intelligence Shrimp feed

BioMar’s parent company, Schouw & Co, is investing a ‘three-digit million Danish Kroner sum’ to acquire Australia-based company AQ1, an intelligent feed technology company focused on shrimp farming.

AQ1 possesses proprietary technology that monitors and controls shrimp feeding needs by way of artificial intelligence (AI). In shrimp farming, feeding in correct quantities and at the right times can significantly improve productivity, said BioMar’s owners.

The Aarhus, Denmark headquartered Schouw & Co is not disclosing the actual amount it paid out for the tech provider.

“AQ1 and the technology the company represents is a gamechanger for shrimp farming. Through advanced underwater acoustic sensors, the company’s technology can monitor shrimp feeding needs, which are absolutely crucial to productivity and to sustainable production without overfeeding. The technology is the reason AQ1 has become a leading aquaculture tech business in shrimp farming,”​ commented Jens Bjerg Sørensen, CEO of the Danish group.

Becoming a part of this technology innovation is critical for BioMar, as it looks to enhance its portfolio with products and services that will help its customers increase their productivity and support their sustainability efforts, he added. “We see a huge potential in helping AQ1 continue its journey and in getting involved along a greater part of the aquaculture value chain.”

AQ1 is headquartered in Tasmania with offices in South and Central America and in Asia, the biggest shrimp producing regions. In 2021, AQ1 generated revenue equivalent to almost DKK 100 million (US$14.5m) with earnings of DKK 30 million.

The negotiations with AQ1 were conducted as a collaborative effort between Schouw & Co and BioMar.

Intelligent feeding trend

Carlos Diaz, chief executive of BioMar, noted that the use of intelligent feeding systems has become extremely popular in recent years, especially in shrimp farming, where there’s a huge potential to improve feed efficiency, production yields and sustainability. “Integrating this part of the value chain in our overall business is a natural next step for us.”

The future, he continued, is all about combining optimum feed formulation with intelligent feeding systems that industry can use to derive data and knowledge through which to advance production.

Diaz said that AQ1 will continue as an independent entity, a subsidiary of BioMar, and that the use of AQ1 products will not require purchase of BioMar feed products.

The deal is subject to customary approvals but is expected to be completed by the end of April. BioMar said the acquisition will have only a limited effect on its revenue and earnings guidance for 2022.

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