Major interest expressed in the Flexilink mooring system – Fishfarmer Magazine

Major interest expressed in the Flexilink mooring system26 April, 2013 – Arthur Campbell from Marine Harvest Scotland and Yngve Askeland from Mørenot Aquaculture

Metal-free mooring grid gains momentum

Norwegian and Scottish fish farmers have been able to see the benefits offered by Mørenot Aquaculture`s innovative and patent-applied Flexilink system over the course of the last year. The product was launched at the Aquaculture UK exhibition, which was held in Aviemore last May, and since then more than 10 Flexilink mooring grids have been installed along the Norwegian coastline. This winter Scottish salmon companies have been visiting Mørenot Aquaculture in Norway to take a closer look at the Flexilink system. As a result, Mørenot’s export manager Nina Hildre and R&D manager Yngve Askeland have acted as tour guides for numerous visitors to those farms equipped with Flexilink, in order to show the benefits and simplicity of the new system.

‘We are experiencing major interest these days,’ Nina Hildre says. ‘Norwegian fish farmers are happy to show their Scottish colleagues a mooring grid with no steel components – only custom-made fibre slings, with up to 280 tonnes breaking load. All the steel plates, chains and shackles are replaced by a special connection loop between the rope and the fibre slings.’

Safer‘The fact that we have removed hundreds of small components from the grid reduces the risk of accidents and fish escapes,’ Yngve Askeland adds. ‘Another benefit is, of course, the maintenance and inspection costs, which have been reduced by more than 50% on an average Norwegian fish farm. The product is certified according to the Norwegian standard NS 9415, together with the rest of Mørenot Aquaculture’s products.

Mørenot’s consultancy department can analyse mooring systems and nets with advanced computer technology

Mørenot’s consultancy department can analyse mooring systems and nets with advanced computer technology

‘The successes of the Flexilink system have obviously been inspiring for Mørenot’s staff. We have now transferred part of the system to our nets made for exposed sites. The loop for connecting the net to the pen is replaced and called Flexiloop. This loop has a breaking strength of 11.2 tonnes and, like the Flexilink, it has double cover to withstand abrasion. If necessary, the Flexiloop can easily be replaced during the operational period at sea. Alternatively, replacements done at one of Mørenot Aquaculture’s service stations are easy and cost-effective because no splicing is needed.’

Mørenot Aquaculture and subsidiary companies in Norway, Scotland, Shetland, Spain and Canada have a large product range. Nets, net services and moorings still count for the largest share of their total turnover, but they also have a strong and growing position in consultancy services and databases. Their consultancy department, in Norway, has a combination of engineers and experienced fish farmers. The department has achieved the Norwegian accreditation for analysing fish farms using advanced computer technology. All mooring systems and nets for exposed sites are analysed and verified before Mørenot Aquaculture starts producing nets and/or mooring systems.

The consultancy department has also developed a web-based database for fish farmers to keep track of certificates and documents for each site. This also contains a full maintenance system that lets you know when to do the next inspection and creates a checklist based on user manuals from different suppliers. The database is called mmcd.no and is being used by both fish farmers and auditors in Norway. Close to 100 sites are now using the database and Mørenot Aquaculture will present an extended version in English this spring.

A Flexilink system at one of Lerøy West’s sites in Austevoll