Tuesday, June 7, 2016

07/06/2016: Greek company to present copper alloy net at both Nor-Fishing and Aqua Nor

"We believe that many key persons from the aquaculture industry will also attend Nor-Fishing. So we are using every opportunity to spread the word about our new, environmentally -friendly copper alloy net – and we will also be coming back to Trondheim to participate at the aquaculture technology exhibition Aqua Nor next year," explains Business Development Manager Nick Kotsios of Fitco SA.
Fitco produces and markets copper alloy nets to the aquaculture industry. They have chosen to participate at Nor-Fishing in order to meet Norwegian and international operators in the maritime sector.
A copper alloy patent was the starting point

Everything started in 2012, when Fitco’s parent company bought the patent rights to a special copper alloy from Mitsubishi. Fitco immediately started developing fish farming nets with the copper alloy. Already in 2013, the first pilot net was tested in the sea, and the following year they launched a new net with a 50m circumference – 10 metres deep. 
“Nets made of copper alloy wire will improve fish health and welfare by giving the fish a cleaner, safer and healthier environment to live in,” says Mr Kotsios.
According to Fitco, experience from testing the first two cages has given some interesting results. UR3O® copper alloy nets:

  • Inhibit biofouling and avoid the relevant costs
  • Prevent growth of parasites and pathogen bacteria
  • Reduce maintenance costs (low cleaning costs, diving operations costs, repair works costs)
  • Copper alloy nets are expected to last for more than 10 years
  • They give a 15 percent faster growth of the fish (SGR)
  • Lead to 10 percent improvement in the FCR
  • Provide better protection against storms, bad weather and against whales and large predators

Environment-friendly nets
Fitco also claims that the nets will maintain a constant net volume – which reduces mortality and stress levels of the fish. In addition, the company points out that the copper alloy nets give increased flow-through of water, increased oxygen levels and important environment advantages:

  • 100 percent of the material used can be recycled
  • Reduce feed inputs, material & energy inputs on-site and waste & material sent to landfill
  • Eliminate the need to use chemicals
  • Respect biodiversity preventing escapes – the company has registered no escapes from the two test cages
  • Provide a cleaner, safer and healthier environment for the fish 
Impossible for the fish to escape?
"It is the best choice for people, fish and the ocean" asserts Mr Kotsios, who adds that it is physically impossible for the fish to escape from the copper alloy nets – even under Norwegian conditions.

Such extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Mr Kotsios plans to present the proof both at Nor-Fishing 2016 and at Aqua Nor in 2017. The company has started the certification process together with Norwegian certification authorities, and hopes to complete this process before the exhibition opens.
UR30® Copper Alloy is perfect as net wire
Mr Kotsios explains the great advantages of UR30® copper alloy nets: "UR30® Copper Alloy is a perfect material for aquaculture nets. It is very strong, highly durable, corrosion and wear resistant and prevents algae from growing on the net. Copper slowly releases ions that prevent algae and micro-organisms from growing on the net."
UR30® Copper Alloy is more environment-friendly
The natural ability of copper to prevent fouling of the nets is well known, but in spite of this, many aquaculture companies have tried to avoid using copper impregnated nylon nets. The reason for this is that copper particles enter the water during washing of the nets.
Fitco refers to reports from the University of Athens, HCMR (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research) and SINTEF, which conclude that copper alloy nets release slowly only insignificant amounts of copper particles – especially when compared to copper impregnated nylon nets. These cupric ions are rapidly dispersed by local turbulence and ocean currents and rapidly bind to natural organic matter in the seawater.
Looking forward to meeting the industry
"We are really looking forward to meet Norwegian and international operators face to face. Although Nor-Fishing is a fisheries technology exhibition, we are convinced that we will meet key persons in the aquaculture industry also. In any case, the word about our product will get around.
"I am convinced that our efforts to build a good network and create interest in our product will be much simpler because of our participation at Nor-Fishing. The people we meet will be part of our database of potential customers – and we believe the quality of 'leads' will be much higher through meeting professionals at the exhibition," concludes Mr Kotsios.
Fitco SA will be at stand A2-614 at Nor-Fishing. See the list of stands HERE.

Visit the Fitco SA site HERE.

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