Sunday, June 10, 2018

11/06/2018: Fish farms opt for robotic net cleaning to replace traditional onshore cleaning

by Monique van Deursen, Yanmar, Japan

By 2050, the global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion, posing a tremendous challenge on adequate nutrition and food security and safety for all inhabitants.

Fish has become a most important source of nutrition and is increasingly supplied by aquaculture. The success and breeding quality in cage farming is highly influenced by the rearing conditions. So how does robotic net cleaning contribute to fresh clean water, the production of tonnes of healthy fish, and an easy operation?

Growth of aquaculture needed in order to keep up with increasing global fish consumption
Fisheries and aquaculture remain vital sources of food, nutrition, income and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people around the world. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 50 percent of fish production will be from aquaculture in 2021, which makes aquaculture the fastest growing food sector right now. An indispensable factor for the quality and success of bred fish species as opposed to wild caught fish is the condition of the cage nets used in captive breeding.

Nets submerged in seawater easily acquire a coating of algae, molluscs, fish food, fish secretions, and other biofoulings. The results of fouling can be disastrous for the production of fish.

First of all, there is an increasing risk of disease or even death of fish because fresh seawater and oxygen cannot flow freely in and out of the nets. Fouled nets are also more prone to damage and tearing, causing fish to escape and expensive repairs to the nets.

Furthermore, due to biofouling the nets become heavy, causing an extra load to the service vessel and its anchoring system.

Clean nets for healthy fish
Healthy fish breeding is inextricably linked to clean nets. The cleaner the nets, the better the condition and yields of fish. Efficient net cleaning removes biofouling organisms and prevents the proliferation of parasites on the nets, so that the use of anti-fouling chemicals and medicinal products for fish can be reduced. This means healthier fish, ensuring healthier nutrition.

Similarly, the cages require less cleaning agents. Net cleaning also removes adhering shellfish, a common cause of harm to farmed fish. Another problem related to aquaculture is that not enough clean seawater is allowed to flow through the nets, causing a drop in oxygen levels inside the cages, which can halt fish growth, increase diseases and mortality rates. Clean nets allow fresh seawater to flow abundantly through the cages.

Finally, efficient cleaning prevents biofouling to add excess weight to the nets and prevent damage and sinking of farming nets to the ocean floor.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

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