Single net solution to the toughest predation challenges
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 email@example.com Mobile (AU): +610418 121 616 www.netstasmania.com.au
“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