Cermaq opts for eco-solution – Fishfarmer Magazine

Cermaq opts for eco-solution29 April, 2014 –

CERMAQ Norway has signed a contract with AKVA group for Polarcirkel EcoNets and plastic cages.

The contract – to supply a complete slmon farm in northern Norway, totals NOK 14.5 million. Delivery will be in 2Q/3Q 2014.

The companies have cooperated in testing and further development of the EcoNet concept since early 2012, when the first 120m circumference net was installed at Cermaq in Steigen, northern Norway.

It is the good production results from this testing that now have resulted in using EcoNet in full scale. The nets in this new complete salmon farm will be 160m circumference (51m diameter) and 34m deep.   Snorre Jonassen, Director at Cermaq Norway AS, confirmed the good productions results from the EcoNet testing: ‘We transferred 1,5kg salmon into the EcoNet cage in June 2012 and harvested 6,5kg salmon 7 months later, with a biological FCR (Feed Conversion Rate) of 1,09 and Economical FCR of 1,10.

‘I was uncertain how to handle this net during harvest and lice treatments, but we had no problems and used standard Cermaq net handling procedures.

‘Another advantage with EcoNet is also that we eliminate risk of breaking net meshes during lifting as we don’t need to use steel hooks to pull up the net on the railing.’

When asked why he thinks they achieved this result, Jonassen replied: ‘It is most likely the good water flow through of the EcoNet that is the main factor.

‘Simply better water quality and environment for the fish. In addition to this we also consider EcoNet as more escape proof than traditional nets.’

Trond Severinsen, COO – export at AKVA group ASA – has been in charge of the company’s EcoNet concept since 2009. He agrees with Jonassen’s comments.

‘EcoNet is made of PET monofilament that has a very hard and smooth surface. This results in very low water resistance (drag) due to low ‘total wetted surface area’ compared to multifilament (fibre net).

‘Smooth surface also makes net washing in the sea very efficient. In addition, the net panels are thermoformed in the “knitting machine” so that the net mesh and net wall remains stiffer without deformation, even in strong currents.

‘This also means 70-75% lower sinkertube net weight compared to normal. Nets and equipment therefore becomes easier to work with, and this improves health and safety for the farm workers who will be handling the equipment.

‘Lastly, EcoNet offers our customers a good opportunity to reduce the risk of fish escapes by using this new net technology also for salmon farming.   ‘In addition to the requirements of NS9415-2009 (Norwegian Standard for aquaculture equipment), we have also conducted comprehensive testing at SINTEF in Norway in order to document additional unique EcoNet material properties.

‘They include high tensile strength, chafe resistance and long lifespan. EcoNet is now NS9415 certified to stay in the sea for 14 years. This also eliminates the need for handling or changing nets, and thereby also a considerable escape risk and operating cost.

Tests also show that a 20 year old EcoNet from Japan still have 95% remaining tensile strength compared to new netting.’   Close to 150 EcoNets are in use in large scale by Tassal Group in Tasmania, Grieg Seafood Hjaltland on Shetland Islands and Fega Group in Indonesia, in addition to extensive use in Japan.