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Not RAS, not net pens: Salmon farm concepts redefine barriers

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 09:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by the Global Aquaculture Advocate:

FiiZK, Kvarøy Arctic innovate with land-like cages at sea, sea-like cages on land

As sea lice, algal blooms, temperature fluctuations and fish escapes continue to challenge salmon farmers, new cage systems have been created to address and surmount these concerns. Trondheim, Norway-based FiiZK’s semi-closed containment system (SCCS) is much like a land-based system at sea, with a cage containing a solid outer wall. Meanwhile, Kvarøy Arctic is building a new land-based facility with flow-through construction that will be up to 30 percent cheaper than a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) when it is completed.

FiiZK worked with Cermaq Norway from 2018 until 2020 to develop and implement its first SCCS, which is essentially a large, water-pressurized bag made of a flexible polymer material that creates an impenetrable barrier between the open ocean and the inside of the pen.

FiiZK Certus model | Photo: FiiZK

The cage has a sensor network that monitors the cage environment and its outside surroundings, and a control system that operates the cage. Able to add oxygen to the cage as needed, the innovative system has deep sea water intake pumps and exit ports on the bag liner through which water exits. Water exchanges within the system in less than an hour and the depth of the intake potentially eliminates the risk of harmful algae and sea lice entering the system.

Cermaq Norway, the only company to have trialed the cage to date, found that the SCCS eliminated the transfer of lice from wild salmon to the farmed populations and resulted in faster fish growth and better overall performance.

Magnus Stendal, business development manager at FiiZK, attributes the faster fish growth to the absence of the lice, thus eliminating the need for expensive and potentially stress-inducing treatments. What’s more, the high, stable oxygen levels in the cage allow a greater water quality control, a reduction in harmful plankton and a constant current pattern inside the cage.

FiiZK Certus model | Photo: FiiZK

FiiZK will be shipping five cages to another Norwegian customer in the spring and Stendal said salmon and trout producers will have a choice of cages ranging in size from 10,000 cubic meters up to 30,000 cubic meters, depending on their production volume. The company aims to establish a local supply chain for the SCCS in Canada and plans to open an office in British Columbia in early 2021.

Cermaq Canada purchased a SCCS from FiiZK in early 2020 and had it shipped to the company’s Millar Channel farm site near Campbell River, British Columbia. The SCCS system and its supporting infrastructure cost (U.S.) $4.3 million, roughly five times the cost of a traditional system, said David Kiemele, managing director of Cermaq Canada. A pilot trial currently in progress will determine the system’s feasibility in Canadian waters and analyze fish performance in the SCCS compared to control groups stocked in a traditional pen system.(continued...)

Author: Lauren Kramer / Global Aquaculture Advocate | Read the full article by clicking the link here


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