Aquafarm Equipment has solved some of the biggest challenges faced by modern aqua-culture industry. We have developed a cost-effective, closed fish cage for post-smolt production that prevents the escape of fish, drastically reduces the risk of salmon louse, and reduces the release of organic nutrients and waste into the surrounding environment.
The result is the Aquafarm closed cage system. Developed and thoroughly tested in close cooperation with Marintek, DNV GL, Norconsult, Multiconsult and SINTEF. Our innovative fish-cage concept has been certified according to NS 9415:2009 and Nytek, allowing for one million fish up to one kilogram.
Since 2013, we have worked closely with Mowi (Marine Harvest) to carry out full-scale tests of our closed fish cage for post-smolt production – with very good results. Together, we have fine-tuned and perfected our post-smolt facilities.
Now we’re making the next step. Aquafarm Equipment are working to establish test facilities for production of both brood fish and market-ready fish.
The closed cage is built from GRP elements and reinforced with steel in areas that endures the most stress. The cage consists of several elements bolted together with use of a special technology.
The design also includes a pump system, which, through a strainer unit, extracts large volumes of water from a depth of 25 meters or more.
The pumps have a high efficiency and reliability securing very low operating cost, and installation above sea level gives easy access for service and maintenance. A specially designed hatch system is installed in the side walls. The hatches are patented and give an exceptional hydraulic flow inside the cage. A separate (optional) system for inserting oxygen into the water flow is also located on the barge.
As the concept of the cage is to collect the waste from the fish and feed it may be located inside fjords and close to the shoreline. Waste from the fish and other pollution in the cage is collected in the sloped bottom cone. A flexible pipeline connects to the low point and leads up to the mud separator.
Cultivation of post-smolt in CCAS such as Neptun before deployment in conventional pens introduces several advantages associated with fish welfare and production expenses. Neptun provides optimal conditions for recently smoltified fish, where it can thrive and grow to the desired size in a shorter timespan at reduced cost.
The growth period from 80 to 1000 grams lasts for approximately 6 months. During this timespan, the fish is allocated in an environment in which have been tested and optimised to achieve favourable conditions. Stable temperature, plentiful oxygenation and efficient water exchange systems enhances the quality of the fish.
Production of post-smolt in closed cages introduces the opportunity to systematically grow fish in a safe and sustainable manner.
The system have an integrated filtration and water treatment system to prevent infestation and disease outbreaks, minimising associated treatment expenses.The environmental impact is additionally vastly reduced, as the integrated waste system inhibits release of organic nutrients. The solid leavings can be recycled or utilised for other environmentally friendly purposes. Ecological pollution in form of fish escape and spread of diseases is eliminated during the time spent in a CCAS.
Currently there is an engagement among enterprises, government and researchers to fortify the public perception and value generation from the aquaculture sector. Production of post-smolt is an incremental progress towards ensuring an sustainable and cost efficient transformation from an experience based to a knowledge-based fish farming industry.
Test results of the floating closed fish farming system indicate no occurrences of diseases, fish escape and need for delousing. Fish mortality is reduced to less than 0.5 %, and feed conversion rate is increased to 0.85. By reaching the size of 1000 grams before the deployment in open net pens, the fish is far more robust and able to withstand the though production environment that awaits.
CCAS production systems is capable of breeding two generations of post-smolt annually. By dividing the total growth period in two phases, breeders will reduce the overall expenses. The first phase in CCAS utilises the optimal conditions to save expenses associated to feed and treatment of diseases and lice. Expenses in the latter phase in open cages is reduced as a result of far lower mortality and resistance towards pathogens and parasites.
Sea based CCAS for post-smolt far is more cost efficient compared to land-based facilities in terms of investment costs, putting CCAS ahead as a strong competitor in the market. Additionally, CCAS sequesters less space to produce fish. CCAS may be deployed in areas with ambient water quality due to the sophisticated water treatment system.
Several generations of fish subject to analyses have proven that by dividing the cultivation of Atlantic salmon in two phases minimises the production expenses and increases the quality and quantity of market ready fish. The final output per fish is increased by 0,4 kg, and average production expense for one fish is reduced by 2.65 per kg. Breeders may increase their profit by 30% each generation.
Closed facilities have numerous advantages that have a positive impact on fish health.
In Aquafarm Equipment’s design water is piped in from a depth of 25–40 metres to avoid salmon lice and patogenes and to provide an optimal production environment. Our third-generation fish cage has the option of full treatment of the intake water.
The de-lousing process subjects the fish to considerable stress. Our fish-cage concept virtually eliminates the need for mechanical handling of the fish, as well as the need for chemicals.
This is clearly beneficial to fish health.
- No need for chemicals
- No need for mechanical handling of fish
- Superior control of water quality: oxygenation and pH level
- Dramatic lower stress levels
- More stable water temperatures, which result in increased feed uptake
- Water currents can be adapted to the size of the fish
- Strong currents help fish develop musculature, increasing its quality
- Increased resistance to disease
- As a result of these factors, mortality is extremely low – less than 0.5 %.
With our floating fish cages, the cost of pumping in water is kept to a minimum. While open fish cages require considerable resources to be spent on de-lousing and disease prevention, these costs are eliminated with our closed fish-cage concept. Full-scale tests confirm the substantial economic benefits for fish-farming facility’s bottom line.
- Total production costs per kilo are lower than in open fish cages
- Low investment costs compared to land-based facilities
- Reduced energy consumption
- Excellent rates for feed uptake
- More rapid fish growth – and shorter production time
- Lower mortality
- Organic waste reclaimed as a resource
- Fish cages that have a long lifespan
The expected lifespan of Aquafarm Equipment’s fish cage is 20 years. As a result, amortised costs are drastically lowered, with considerable environmental benefits.
|Produksjonskostnad (NOK) pr kg slaktet fisk, levende vekt||Trad. Sjøanlegg 100g – full utvekst||Postsmolt fra AFE – Full utvekst||Postsmolt fra RAS – full utvekst|
|Totale oppstartskostnader og arbeidskostnader (NOK/kg)||2,53||1,58||1,58|
|Total fôrkostnad (NOK/kg)||15,04||12,06||12,06|
|Faste operasjonelle kostnader (NOK/kg)||1,98||1,17||1,17|
|Totale forsikringskostnader (NOK/kg)||0,18||0,15||0,15|
|Totale ensilasjekostnader (NOK/kg)||0,15||0,14||0,14|
|Totale avskrivingskostnader (NOK/kg)||1,76||1,04||1,04|
|Totale produksjonskostnader (NOK/kg)||28,13||25,48||27,06|
|Total lusebehandlingskostnad (NOK/kg)||3,77||2,48||2,54|
|Total produksjonskostnad dødfisk (levende vekt) (NOK/kg)||2,65||1,96||2,16|
Ensuring a safe and effective working environment has been priority throughout the development of our fully-integrated system. Even though safety within the aquaculture industry has been improving, we firmly believe it can be improved further. For instance, ensuring the safety of personnel on plastic fish-cage walkways can be a challenge.
Aquafarm Equipment’s elimination of the problem of organic waste will allow placement of fish-farming facilities in more sheltered areas of our coast. This shortens the employee commute, lessens the challenges of accessing facilities in bad weather, and achieves a much safer working environment.
- A stable and secure work platform
- Designated areas for equipment storage
- Safe access by boat
- All infrastructure on a single platform
Whereas organic waste from open fish cages presently flows into the sea, Aquafarm Equipment believes this is a valuable resource that should reclaimed and used.
Organic waste from fish farms has many uses, and additional ones are being explored:
- fertiliser and soil improvement supplement
- bio-gas production
- production of concrete
- extraction and recycling of phosphorus
Moreover, uncomsumed fish-pellets are collected and recycled.
Aquafarm Equipment AS is the world’s leading designer and producer of floating closed fish cage systems.
We work closely with Marintek, DNV GL, Norconsult, Multiconsult and SINTEF in the development of the Aquafarm closed cage system.
The Aquafarm closed cage system has proven to give many advantages; no chemicals required for delousing, improved Feed Factor (FCR), reduced mortality, no escapes, controlled water flow and oxygen saturation, etc.
The new generation of Aquafarm closed cage system is now ready for sale and can be bought or leased, – for more info explore our home page or contact one of our team.
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