It’s a hard life for ex­posed cages but fish fare well

Fish Farmer - - Brussels – Seafood Expo Global 2019 -

AQUALINE sales man­ager Hans Olav Ruo said the com­pany was see­ing more sup­pli­ers to the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try at­tend­ing the show as more seafood is farmed.

The com­pany’s Mid­guard sys­tem, in­tro­duced in 2015, has been a suc­cess, and hav­ing been tested for four years, it has proved the con­cept of high en­ergy sites.

A com­plete net cage sys­tem, it is de­scribed by the com­pany as es­cape-proof, and has been in­stalled all over the world.

Ruo said 90 per cent of the cages they sup­ply in Nor­way are Mid­guard, many of them fit­ted with elec­tric pow­ered in­stead of hy­draulic winches, so the sinker tube on the big­ger nets can be lifted more ef­fi­ciently and more safely.

Aqualine is also in dis­cus­sion with a salmon farmer in Aus­tralia, where they have a prob­lem with sealions.

‘We have sup­plied Mid­guards with dou­ble nets,’ said Ruo, ‘and are in dis­cus­sion with Tas­sal for dou­ble nets for their huge cages.’

In Scot­land, sales of the Mid­guard sys­tem are go­ing well, with the com­pany sup­ply­ing 50 nets since Jan­uary.

For the more ex­posed sites, they use the same ma­te­ri­als but there are ‘al­ways im­prove­ments in the de­tails’.

‘There is a lot of main­te­nance, the cages live a very hard life, there is al­ways move­ment and they need to be main­tained,’ said Ruo.

There is a big dif­fer­ence in the life­span of the cages, de­pend­ing on where they are, and in­shore cages have a ‘lux­ury life’ com­pared to pens on high en­ergy sites. But the qual­ity of fish has been very good. In Orkney, a fur­ther three full Mid­guard sys­tems have been sold to Cooke Aqua­cul­ture for its trial farm at East Skel­wick, which al­ready had two Midgau­rds.

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