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Ecotrust Hits the Open Water

The area’s leading environmentally driven nonprofit has taken to the sea for its second for-profit venture.

Ecotrust revealed this morning it will spin out its marine consulting group into a company called Point 97. The entity will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Ecotrust.

Point 97 aims to provide new technologies and engagement strategies for the marine and ocean planning sectors. Specifically, its work could help fisheries better manage data through better technology. The company will further develop and market data visualization and ocean planning portals used in the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic and along the West Coast.

“Ecotrust has worked on marine planning since 2001, and we really started with the fishing and government agencies,” said Ruby Gates, Point 97’s CEO and an energy industry management veteran. “This is a great opportunity to help (fisheries) to optimize their businesses.”

Ecotrust had already devised mobile solutions to improve fisheries’ health and management in Oregon, the Caribbean and the South Pacific’s Coral Triangle. The Point 97 team also served as technology consultants to Oregon’s recent territorial sea planning initiative.

Gates had founded MarketShift Strategies, an energy management consultancy, in 2006 and Encapsys Inc., an energy and production data management technology, in 2011.

Point 97 will employ nine workers.

Ecotrust Forest Management, which formed in 2004, is Ecotrust’s other for-profit venture.

Gates said the team is still formulating revenue projections for Point 97, which is named after the percentage of water on earth (97 percent) that oceans comprise. The company has enough contracts to keep it busy through 2014 and well into 2015, Gates said.

Its clients including the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.



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