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Aquatic Environmental Consultants (AEC) was founded in Hull in 1982 by Dr Phil Smith. Early clients included Anglian Water, Tioxide UK Ltd and Wansford Trout Farm. On 1st January 2004 the name was changed to Aquatonics Ltd. Anne Smith (Emeritus Professor of Fish Physiology at Exeter University) became a Director in 2000 and has worked full time for Aquatonics since 2005.

In the early 1980s we worked mainly on ecological surveys and pollution surveys of rivers and estuaries, looking at the impact of a variety of industrial, sewage and fish farm effluents. With the adoption of the European EIA Directive by the UK Government our workload changed almost overnight, and we started to predict the impacts from various engineering works and new discharges. We work extensively with other environmental consultants and engineers, and also provide advice to solicitors, particularly on fish kills and other river pollution incidents. Since about 2015 most of our work as been as expert advisors and expert witnesses on water pollution cases.

Phil and Anne sampling with Jo Rabineau, Hayle estuary 2010

The underlying philosophy behind all our ecological work is that sound science is the key to assessing environmental impacts and ensuring the co-operation of all interested parties. We work in partnership with the client to determine their objectives and then show the client how these can best be met with the budget and time available. We make sure that all of our surveys are designed to be cost-effective and deliver the maximum benefit, not only for the client but also for the regulatory bodies that will assess the data.
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