Nets Tas­ma­nia

Sin­gle net so­lu­tion to the tough­est pre­da­tion chal­lenges

Fish Farmer - - Contents – Editor’s Welcome -

Preda­tor proof

NETS Tas­ma­nia re­cently re­ceived the ul­ti­mate ac­co­lade for its KGrid sin­gle net preda­tor proof net­ting. As re­ported in last month’s Fish Farmer, Aus­tralian courts have made it a le­gal re­quire­ment that any preda­tor nets in­stalled at fish farms have to be up to the KGrid stan­dard of ef­fec­tive­ness.

The com­pany, based in Geeve­ston, around 60km from Ho­bart, was set up in 1987 by Don Latham to pro­vide spe­cial­ist nets for those pi­o­neer­ing the farm­ing of At­lantic salmon and sea trout in the clear cool waters of south­ern Tas­ma­nia.

Latham re­cruited staff for the new com­pany mostly from back­grounds in the Tas­ma­nian marine and com­mer­cial fish­ing in­dus­tries, as he de­vel­oped the skills re­quired for aqua­cul­ture net mak­ing.

His en­thu­si­asm for learn­ing the tra­di­tion of net mak­ing was gleaned from re­search and ex­ten­sive trav­el­ling, and his en­ergy, com­bined with the op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vide by a new in­dus­try, fu­elled the early days of the com­pany.

Aus­tralian in­no­va­tions in net­ting tech­nol­ogy and ma­te­ri­als, to­gether with the team’s broad un­der­stand­ing of the needs of fish farm­ers, founded on prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, helped to es­tab­lish the com­pany rapidly.

Nets Tas­ma­nia quickly ac­quired an un­equalled track record in the spe­cial­i­sa­tion of aqua­cul­ture net mak­ing de­sign and sup­ply.

The ex­treme pre­da­tion prob­lems that Aus­tralian fish farm­ers were up against- from seals, in­clud­ing leop­ard seals, sharks and croc­o­diles- forged Latham’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to re­solve these chal­lenges.

To­day, Nets Tas­ma­nia puts all its ef­fort and com­mit­ment into de­liv­er­ing the best aqua­cul­ture nets for fish farm­ers world­wide.

The com­pany is com­mit­ted to the best of tra­di­tional net mak­ing skills, in com­bi­na­tion with the lat­est prod­ucts and ma­te­ri­als.

Latham said the unique fac­tor in the busi­ness’s suc­cess is his di­rect in­volve­ment with ev­ery net that leaves his net sheds.

He is hands on in the de­sign and de­vel­op­ment stages, as well as in the su­per­vi­sion and train­ing of his staff – an ap­proach that achieves the best nets pos­si­ble for each cus­tomer’s re­quire­ments.

What is KGrid net­ting?

KGrid is de­scribed as a uniquely dif­fer­en­ti­ated net­ting ma­te­rial, with phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics that set it apart from pre­vi­ous aqua­cul­ture net­ting prod­ucts.

It is a prod­uct of an Aus­tralian ‘can do’ re­sponse to a chal­lenge and utilises a ma­te­rial for net con­struc­tion that re­quires a to­tal re­jig­ging of the net maker’s art.

The re­sult is a net­ting type that pro­vides sin­gle sheet pre­da­tion con­trol and min­imi­sa­tion of main­te­nance costs for the fish farmer, with an in­ner sur­face ideal for stock en­clo­sure.

It is de­vel­oped specif­i­cally to over­come the se­ri­ous seal at­tack prob­lems ex­pe­ri­enced by Tas­ma­nian salmon farm­ers.

Nets Tas­ma­nia has worked with Ja­panese sup­plier Ki­noshita Fish­ing Net Man­u­fac­tur­ing Com­pany since 2013 to engi­neer the braided, knot­less, resin treated net sheets.

The pro­to­type was ini­tially de­signed to over

come croc­o­dile and shark pre­da­tion on farms in north­ern Aus­tralia, where net dam­age and stock losses were se­verely lim­it­ing fish farm­ing vi­a­bil­ity.

As the po­ten­tial to ap­ply this preda­tor con­trol sys­tem to Tas­ma­nian salmon farm­ing be­came ap­par­ent, so did the need to build a ded­i­cated as­sem­bly fa­cil­ity, to ap­ply the knowl­edge gained in man­u­fac­tur­ing the first gen­er­a­tion of nets more ef­fi­ciently.

The de­ci­sion was made to es­tab­lish that fa­cil­ity in Viet­nam and its per­for­mance to date has vin­di­cated that de­ci­sion.

This now means that the spe­cial­ist staff and fa­cil­i­ties pro­duc­ing KGrid nets are fully de­vel­oped in ca­pac­ity and availabili­ty to meet world­wide fish farm­ing re­quire­ments.

KGrid is made on BM Braided Muketsu knot­less machines, and yarn ma­te­rial is polyester con­ju­gated fi­bre ther­mally bonded. This pro­vides an ul­tra-tough bar­rier to at­tack, and also uses the phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the ma­te­rial to in­crease water flow. This is done by hav­ing a con­sis­tent mesh shape, not sub­ject to the water flow dis­tor­tion preva­lent in other ma­te­ri­als used to fab­ri­cate knot­less net­tings. There are more than 180 KGrid nets in ser­vice, mostly on Tas­sal Group fish farms in south­ern Tas­ma­nia. There are also KGrid nets in­stalled on salmon farms in Chile and Canada, on tuna farms in Ja­pan, and on bar­ra­mundi farms in north­ern Aus­tralia. Now Nets Tas­ma­nia is look­ing at the Euro­pean mar­ket. Latham told Fish Farmer the com­pany phi­los­o­phy is ‘to work with our cus­tomers through a to­tal com­mit­ment to our role as net de­sign­ers and mak­ers, and to pro­vide the most ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive en­clo­sure of their fish stock’. Each cus­tomer’s net is de­signed and con­structed to the spe­cific fish farm’s re­quire­ments, said Latham. Nets Tas­ma­nia’s mantra is: ‘De­fine the need- re­solve the chal­lenge­pro­vide the so­lu­tion,’ he added. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact: Fax +61 3 62 97 0130 don­snets@big­ Mo­bile (AU): +610418 121 616­stas­ma­

“Each cus­tomer’s net is de­signed and con­structed re­quire­ments” to the spe­cific fish farm’s

Clockwise from top right: Salmon grow out net for Aus­tralia; mort col­lec­tor base cen­tre; Don Latham at work; de­tail of KGrid as­sem­bly tech­nique; check­ing qual­ity con­trol

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