The focus of this project was 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 aims and objectives of the project were to develop and trial a prototype waste capture system to demonstrate the capture and recovery of waste feed and faeces from open cage aquaculture sites, preventing it from accumulating on the seabed. Three prototype waste capture systems were designed, fabricated, installed and tested on two open cage fish farm sites (one with square cages, one with circular cages) in a real-life environment. Waste was successfully captured, pumped to the surface, and de-watered using a simple bag filter for storage and disposal. Experience was gained in using the system, and it was demonstrated that there was no impact on day-to-day fish farm operations or fish health and welfare. Over the project a number of design improvements were made to improve the waste collection and provide additional benefits. An innovative new multi-purpose pontoon and suction anchor were also designed, fabricated, deployed and tested. Waste captured was quantified, tested, and options for disposal, treatment, recycling and reuse were identified. This innovation is now tried and tested and is ready to be commercialised and taken to market, with case studies to support proof of concept, and viable costs for production at scale.
Aqua Innovations Ltd.