New semi-closed containment aquaculture system combines land and ocean farming

Norway-based FiiZK has developed a new semi-closed containment aquaculture system which is much like a land-based system at sea, with a cage containing a solid outer wall.

FiiZK worked with Cermaq Norway from 2018 until 2020 to develop and implement its first semi-closed containment aquaculture system, which is essentially a large, water-pressurised bag made of a flexible polymer material that creates an impenetrable barrier between the open ocean and the inside of the pen.

The new cage has a sensor network that monitors the cage environment and its outside surroundings, and a control system that operates the cage. The innovative system has deep sea water intake pumps and exit ports on the bag liner through which water exits. Water exchanges within the system in less than an hour and the depth of the intake potentially eliminates the risk of harmful algae and sea lice entering the system.

Cermaq Norway, the only company to have trailed the cage to date, found that the semi-closed containment aquaculture system eliminated the transfer of lice from wild salmon to the farmed populations and resulted in faster fish growth and better overall performance.

David Kiemele, managing director of Cermaq Canada, said: “We’re launching the trial to understand how these systems work in Canadian waters and the unique needs of our British Columbia operations and conditions. We know innovative infrastructure and farming techniques will be important to the future of salmon farming in British Columbia and while we’re just at the start of the trial, we’re hopeful that we will see promising results across a wide range of performance criteria.”

Magnus Stendal, business development manager at FiiZK, said: “Salmon and trout producers will have a choice of cages ranging in size from 10,000 cubic metres up to 30,000 cubic metres, depending on their production volume. The company aims to establish a local supply chain for the SCCS in Canada and plans to open an office in British Columbia in early 2021.”

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