KelpRing – A natural habitat for cleaner fish (FS016)

Aim:

The KelpRing is an innovative new product for use in the salmon farming industry. With sea lice being the Scottish aquaculture industry’s biggest problem and cleaner fish a very effective tool in their control, this innovation aims to lessen the very high mortality rate of the cleaner fish by providing them with their own natural kelp forest within the salmon pens.

Funding Amount:

£48,827

Duration of Project:

3 Months

Rope and water texture

Project Summary:

The KelpRing is an innovative new product for use in the salmon farming industry. With sea lice being the Scottish aquaculture industry’s biggest problem and cleaner fish a very effective tool in their control, this innovation aims to lessen the very high mortality rate of the cleaner fish by providing them with their own natural kelp forest within the salmon pens. It provides habitat enrichment for the wrasse and lumpfish which are used to remove the sea lice from the salmon. By providing these cleaner fish with a natural environment in the centre of the lice zone of the salmon pens, it is believed that fish welfare will be greatly enhanced and stress dramatically reduced, allowing the cleaner fish to live and thrive longer resulting in a much improved lice reducing capability.

The KelpRing is a passive, non-intrusive system made from materials which are recyclable, reusable and natural. It is designed to be user friendly and cost effective. Importantly, the KelpRing also constitutes an integrated multitrophic aquaculture model: the kelp protects the cleaner fish, the cleaner fish protect the salmon, the kelp enriches the water with oxygen and absorbs nutrients from the salmon waste. At the end of a salmon production cycle, the kelp is an important biofuel for anaerobic digester plants to dispose of dead salmon, and so enabling the whole concept to be part of the circular economy.

STATUS: Ongoing

Project Lead

Sgurr Services Ltd