Sunday, July 23, 2017

24/07/2017: The benefits of abrasion and UV resistance nets

by Elihai Radzinski, Director, Fibras Industriales S.A.

Fibras Industriales S.A., commercially known as FISA has been around for over 70 years

Until the late 90s, the company focused mostly on the South American market with some sales to central and North America. The main reason for this was that until the millennium, Peru would fish around nine million tonnes per year and with Chile fishing an additional four million tonnes, the two countries alone represented around 15 percent of world fishing in terms of volume. 

Image credit: FISA
As FISA had around 40 percent market share of those two countries together with some additional sales to Ecuador, Mexico and North America, the company had a market share above eight percent of world netting requirements and much higher for ocean fishing considering that until recently FISA only dealt with multifilament netting and not the monofilament introduced over the past five years.

As always, times change and markets change, therefore over the past 20 years FISA has dedicated more and more resources for growth in the aquaculture industry on a global scale. The first stage was to divert existing knotless Raschel machines towards production for the Chile Salmon aquaculture market.

As this market grew with extreme speed, it was within no time that FISA was obliged to invest in new machinery for this netting and with this extra capacity new markets were entered like the lake farmed tilapia in Honduras and Mexico and during the first years of the century, FISA started supplying rigged cages and bulk netting to European customers with tougher weather conditions such as The Canary Islands and Greece.

Each time the company entered new markets, we learnt together with our customers the specific requirements for each market and developed new products that better suit each requirement. The biggest advantage FISA has over other netting manufacturers is that we have a complete range of products and not just Raschel Knotless netting. This means we can always innovate and adapt to each markets specific requirements.

FISA Polymax ropes

In The Canary Islands, there are very strong currents that cause the vertical ropes of the cages to rub with the structural cage. This leads to friction and abrasion of the rope. Apart from adding plastic hoses to the first 1.5 meters of the rope, we proposed to our customer the use of Polymax ropes instead of polypropylene or Polysteel.

For those of you not familiar with the difference between these products, Polysteel is basically a mix of polyethylene and polypropylene (mixed at extrusion stage, not production of rope stage) thus giving the product the benefits of both materials. In the case of Polymax the rope is composed of Polyethylene and Polyester a combination that highlights flexibility and high abrasion resistance. What we have done is taken a polyethylene rope and wrapped it in multifilament Polyester.

This product is slightly more expensive but its benefits in abrasion resistance and at the same time UV resistance (thus delaying the downgrading of the rope) greatly outweigh the extra costs that can add up to a couple of hundred US dollars per cage. Polyester has a higher density than the monofilament polysteel or polyethylene thus could increase the weight of the cage in an unnecessary manner.

That is the main reason we have not proposed polyester ropes but we definitely don’t discard that option for customers willing to try it although it would be more recommendable to use the FISA polytar rope.

FISA Polytar ropes

An additional product we recommend for harsh conditions is the Polytar rope that is made of high tenacity polyester but at the same time coated with a tar solution developed by FISA that will work as a lubricant during manoeuvring specially with the stretching of the rope in open sea conditions.

It is important to mention that we don’t simply tar the ropes but rather the actual twines that compose the ropes so it is not just a top layer of protective tar but also actually a rope produced with tar inside. This protective coating also gives added protection against the UV rays.

Read the full article, HERE.

Visit the FISA website, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
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