An electrifying way to protect endangered sharks

Media relations


To cement Fishtek Marine’s position as the leader in conservation engineering, Pelican planned a strategic media campaign to deliver a hard-hitting and wide-reaching media coverage to promote SharkGuard. The campaign resulted in over 250 pieces of global coverage across print, online and broadcast media, including The Guardian and ITN News at 10.

Tell me more

Fishtek Marine is a unique conservation engineering company that has developed innovative fishing technologies that facilitate sustainable fishing by reducing the bycatch of dolphins, turtles, seabirds and sharks.

Every year 100 million sharks, skates and rays are accidentally caught by the world’s commercial fisheries targeting other species such as bluefin tuna. The issue know as ‘bycatch’, is threatening many of these species with extinction. Fishtek Marine’s scientists have created SharkGuard, a device that uses small electrical pulses to scare sharks away from baited hooks.

The Challenge

Fishtek wanted to increase the sales of its products, raise its profile with key stakeholders and improve the visibility of its mission to secure additional funding for its conservation engineering work.

As an innovative market disruptor, we needed to get the client as much exposure as possible to help them gain authority in the market and achieve their business goals.

The Pelican approach

We chose media relations as the core tactical tool to build Fishtek’s reputation with target audiences, and deliver sales lead generation.

Material founded in reality with provable results is extremely valuable to the media. Leveraging the success of the SharkGuard trials with the assistance of academics at the University of Exeter and French commercial fishermen, we created a package that included a great story, verified quotes from experts and video footage of the product in action.

The story was first given to The Guardian as an exclusive. Following the initial coverage, we used our media savvy and extensive contacts to prolong the life of the story, targeting national media and all other relevant sectors including fishing, sustainability and engineering sectors. The University of Exeter reached out to academic journals with a modified version of the release to secure additional coverage with scientific authority.

The results

Significant coverage was generated by the campaign with the exclusive article in the Guardian kicking off media coverage in a range of local, national and international media titles and broadcast media outlets, including ITN News at Ten. In addition, coverage was achieved in the Independent, the Mail Online, The New Scientist, Yahoo! News and a range of local publications across the globe.

The wide-ranging coverage has led to several significant sales enquiries and has helped to secure additional funding for further product trials.

Pelican Communications is a specialist sustainability PR agency with expertise in food, packaging, waste, recycling, energy and trade associations.

We provide a range of services including strategy, design, content creation, public relations, CSR reporting, video and animation production plus people development. Contact us for marketing and communications expertise.