A NORWEGIAN company whose name translates into ‘forge’ is indeed forging ahead with some innovative new developments that not only make everyday life better for the fish farmer, but also contribute to improving fish welfare.
Smir Group consists of Smir AS, Hydro Shipping AS, Hydromerd AS and Hydrolicer Drift AS.
The group supplies complete systems for gentle delousing, as well as semi-enclosed pens. In addi-tion, Smir offers customised products developed in-house, such as water pumps and water filters.
Smir invented the well-known Hydrolicer system and has since 2019 also operated their own vessels equipped with delousing equipment. The members of the crew are process operators specialized in fish handling and monitoring of fish welfare, experienced sailors and engineers. With the main focus being fish health and low mortality at all stages of the delousing process, the Hydrolicer has achieved astonishing results. The company uses methods, equipment and technologies that safe-guard fish welfare and the environment.
Above: Wellboat configuration of the Hydrolicer system
How it works
The Hydrolicer system is a mechanical, non-pharmaceutical method for removing sea lice from farmed fish. Neither tempered nor fresh water, nor chemicals are used.
The system is based on a one-line delousing system that accommodates high capacities, with each line having a capacity of 35 to 40 tonnes per hour.
More than 30 vessels have been equipped with the Hydrolicer system, with between two to eight lines installed – making it a total of over 130 lines with a total capacity of more than 5,000 tonnes per hour!
Smir always offers thorough training by highly qualified employees, who are well versed in how their systems deliver.
Above: Four-line barge in operation
Smir’s own fish pump, the Hydroflow, is specially developed to accommodate larger fish. The ejector pump has no moving parts and provides a gentle way of moving the fish through the system.
The Hydrolicer delouses fish in a closed column of water. Radial water turbulence is created, caus-ing the lice to lose their grip on the surface before being flushed away. Throughout the entire pro-cess, the fish are only exposed to minimal pressure variations.
Above: Hydro Pioneer in operation
After being separated in a water separator, the fish continue their journey back to the pen, while water and lice go into a drum filter.
The drum filter is made from stainless steel, is easy to clean and has a drum with a mesh of 100 mi-crons where the lice and eggs are separated and filtrated for destruction.
The Hydrolicer system can be implemented as an open configuration or mounted in containers on various vessels. The system can be installed on new builds, barges, wellboats, converted supply boats or as a retro fit.
Hydro Shipping, which is the shipping company of Smir, offers a full range of operational services from its vessels, as it has done with Hydro Pioneer.
Hydro Pioneer is a converted supply boat used to working in tough conditions, with a low freeboard and excellent manoeuvrability, which makes it ideal for fish farming operations.
Smir CEO Øyvind Nymark said: ‘Using four lines, the Hydro Pioneer has a capacity of 160 tonnes per hour, with the number of lines adjusted according to any customer’s needs and demands.
‘We like to be closely involved in consulting and leadership during the design phase; follow up and quality assurance during the installation phase; and be present and available when the system enters the operational phase.’
He summed up the company’s philosophy: ‘Optimal fish welfare, 100 per cent dedication to our customers, continous innovation, be open, be honest, keep to what we promise and take actions on whatever challenges we might face. A well delivered project is the start of a long-term good rela-tionship.’
You can find out more about the company at www.smir.no.
“The ejector pump has no moving parts and provides a gentle way of moving fish through the system”