John Ace-Hopkins trained as a marine biologist at Swansea University and later worked with Thomson Marconi on a variety of electronic devices for use in the marine and fish farming industry. John bought the rights to Thompson Marconi’s seal scaring equipment and developed it into the silent scrammer system. Ace Aquatec was founded by John with his business partner and wife Annette Pyne-Carter and they relocated to the Scottish Highlands in 1999 to be close to their customers. John understood that to maintain the effectiveness of acoustic deterrents and reduce impact on non target species the acoustic system should only respond to seals when they are predating. This ethos is central to all development work on seal deterrents at Ace Aquatec.
John simultaneously developed a humane electric stunning system for a variety of fish species and the newest HSU stunner represents the company’s culmination of his and Dr Jeff Lines’ hard work. In 2011 they both received an Award for Significant Advances in Humane Slaughter of Farmed Livestock from the respected animal welfare charity the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA). John was a great supporter of the principles of the HSA.
John sadly died in November 2011 at the early age of 58. All who knew him will miss his fierce intelligence, wonderful sense of humour, generosity, talent, vision and sheer determination.
An award was set up by his friend Geoff Jones through the HSA. If you would like to donate to the HSA so that it can continue to fund an award in his name to support the principles of humane slaughter please go to:
The Award will be used to recognise and assist research contributions and to further innovation and development in humane slaughter technologies. The Award will normally be made only to individuals (not corporates) selected and recommended by the HSA. To find out more about the HSA, please go to: www.hsa.org.uk.
In 2012, the John Ace-Hopkins Award was made to the Stunning and Slaughter Group of Bristol University's Vetinary School.
The HSA website also gives details of John's own contribution to this field (www.hsa.org.uk).