Businessman nets deal to help save endangered species

Tony BylesTony Byles
Tony Byles
A Stamford business owner who is more used to helping people keep their vehicles and other property safe has netted a new deal which could help to save an endangered species.

Tony Byles, of Activus Tracking, has been contracted by a research team from the University of St Andrews in Scotland to provide trackers for their project which aims to safeguard the future of the flapper skate - a species of fish which is slowly dying out because of the ease with which they are caught by fisherman in the North Sea.

It is part of a Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) project - which brings together several organisations including the Scottish government - and follows on from a test project which involved Tony providing trackers to monitor the movements of fishing vessels off the coast of Scotland.

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The test scheme has been heralded a success and Tony is now hoping it will proceed to a full-scale project. He will be asked to provide trackers for the whole fishing fleet - a deal which could be worth around six figures.

He said: “This is a huge project for me and it’s great to be involved in something that is having an impact.

“The part of the project with the government is helping to track the movements of fishing vessels and has been useful in some disputes when one fisher’s pots have been moved, either accidentally or deliberately, by another, as we are able to see who is doing what, when and where.

“It’s also good to be involved in the project with the team from St Andrews who are working to protect an endangered species.

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“The flapper skate used to be called the common skate but, because they are so easy to catch, their numbers have declined dramatically and the trackers on the fishing vessels in the area where they live and breed are enabling the researchers to learn more about them and what can be done to protect them.”

Tony’s Scottish work is his latest global project, with other projects underway or in the pipeline in Peru and Jamaica, but the majority of his work is domestic clients closer to home in Stamford.

He provides a range of devices which can be fitted to all kinds of vehicles to alert the owners when they are being stolen or driven in areas where they should not be.

Tony also provides a range of trackers which can be worn by pets, or even people, such as dementia sufferers who may be prone to wandering off.