The focus of this project is to design, build and install a method of capturing, recovering and treating the waste material from under open net cages, thereby preventing seabed contamination.
The contamination of the seabed directly below open net aquaculture cages is a major environmental concern. Fish faeces, uneaten feed and residual chemicals from medicinal treatments leave large areas of virtual desert, devoid of any natural habitat. At the moment moving further offshore is viewed as the only way forward in order to increase production, but this does not address the fundamental problem of contamination through the dispersal of the waste material. Instead, it merely compounds the risks to personnel and equipment through working in a challenging environment, where weather conditions will curtail regular monitoring and prevent access to cages for routine inspections and maintenance.
The focus of this project is to design, build and install a method of capturing, recovering and treating the waste material from under open net cages, thereby preventing seabed contamination. If we solve the basic problem of seabed contamination by capturing and recovering the waste material, not only can the industry remain inshore at currently licenced sites, but the biomass on these sites can be increased in line with market demand. These designs will feature additional advantages, not only increased biomass, but the potential to simplify the installation of predator nets, aeration systems and potentially some return on the treated waste. Therefore, what seems like a step change in established working methods will very quickly become standard practice.
Aqua Innovations Ltd.