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Marine firm to increase staff to expand expertise

A young Argyll firm plans to increase its workforce as it applies advanced technology to expand its underwater survey and mapping expertise.

Tritonia Scientific is part of the growing cluster of marine-focused businesses at the European Marine Science Park at Dunstaffnage, near Oban.

With the help of a £24,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the company has expanded its core scientific and commercial diving business to include stereophotogrammetry.

The new technology uses still images and videos taken by underwater drones, along with diver photography to generate highly detailed, three-dimensional models of marine structures and natural features.

These are used as an easy and accurate way to measure objects, such as oil rigs, pipelines, bridges and piers in difficult-to-access locations.

The technique can also be used in fish and shellfish farming. Reefs and the exact contours of the seabed can be mapped, even when visibility levels in the sea are low.

Fish cages and other floating structures can be examined for invasive species in biosecurity surveys for the aquaculture industry and environmental monitoring projects.

Stereophotogrammetry is expected to help Tritonia expand its international reach and over the next three years the firm, which currently employs eight people, expects to create at least three more skilled jobs.

Scientific diving specialist Martin Sayer, who founded Tritonia last year, said: “Stereophotogrammetry is a powerful survey and monitoring tool with diverse applications.

“This investment has enabled us to expand into this new area of expertise and explore new opportunities in different sectors, including the strategically important area of renewable energy.”

Gary Haldane, account manager in HIE’s Argyll business growth team, said: “Tritonia has only been a stand-alone business at the park for just over a year and already enjoys a growing reputation for excellence in underwater research and development.

“Supporting the company with this new initiative adds to the expertise available in Argyll. It brings more opportunities for skilled workers and reinforces the message that Oban is a great place to live, learn and work.”

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