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MARINE Harvest Scotland has started moving its cleaner fish (wrasse and lumpfish) using a new lorry trailer, custom fitted with individual transport tanks.
These tanks were designed to improve and stabilise the transport environment during the lengthy transportation periods.
This system and operation will reduce multiple hand nettings and water changes and so diminish any cumu- lative stress events on the cleaner fish during transportation and at final discharge.The fish are now transferred directly from the hatchery to the salmon cage in the same tank and water that they were loaded into.
The tanks have been designed internally and externally to provide quick and efficient loading/unloading from the lorry trailer to the boat/barge, individual monitoring and contin- uous life support with effective discharge for the fish, plus a safer and much more controlled working environment for the personnel around the operation.
The tanks have also been successfully designed and tested to be able to transfer fish at much higher stocking densities than previously, therefore reducing transportation costs. This lorry system will cover 50 per cent of the forthcoming cleaner fish deliveries during winter, with any issues or improvements to be addressed before a second trailer is commissioned to cover all the company’s cleaner fish.
Marine Harvest production coordinator manager David Gray said the system had been trialled for four months and went into operation last month.
‘Early indications show that is has been very successful, with benefits in not only fish welfare but also improvements in fish survival,’ he said. ‘The system is more efficient and effective due to the mobility and ease of handling of the tanks and direct discharge of the tanks into the seawater cages.’
Above: Cleaner fish delivery to Loch Shell last month