The project aims to develop an aquaculture pen concept suitable for UK open sea conditions, focusing on delivering new, competitive, safe, secure and environmentally sustainable aquaculture growth opportunities for the Scottish aquaculture market.
Inflatable Marine Products for Aquaculture Containment Technology (IMPACT)
Fish-farm equipment supply chains are highly evolved for ‘in-fjord’ operations, with 80% of salmon produced in Norway and Chile. It is challenging for UK producers to adopt this technology to grow production, without access to similar deep, sheltered waters. Suitable sites have reached their biological capacity and licencing authorities have capped production growth. Norwegian initiatives using the offshore supply chain to build steel structures “beyond the fjord” have not yet proven competitive.
The IMPACT project will see fish pen technology developer Impact-9 partner with Tension Technology International (TTI), to develop a fish-pen design using inflatable structures and flexible materials, based on lessons-learned from wave energy technology. Phase 1 (FS045) saw laboratory testing, economic and numerical modelling to specify and evaluate a commercial pen concept for prevailing UK open sea conditions. The results show feasibility for competitive, safe, secure, and environmentally sustainable aquaculture growth opportunities. This Phase 2 IMPACT project will see Front End Engineering Design of a sea trial prototype at a UK test site, informed by ongoing testing of novel subcomponents. This will provide a “procurement ready” demonstration project to validate this ambitious technology.
Phase 2 of this study includes also partner Simply Blue Aquaculture who will work on matters of environmental and regulatory pathways for consenting commercial sites in the UK. Scotland is a strong candidate for early adoption because of prevailing geography, existing offshore wind and aquaculture infrastructure, supply chain capacity and a stated industry ambition to double salmon production.
For more on this project’s previous work, see here.
Impact9 Energy and Marine Limited