Daily Mail, 6 March 2014: The giant floating robotic fish farm set to revolutionise salmon production

The giant floating robotic fish farm set to revolutionise salmon production

Daily Mail, 6 March 2014

By Mark Prigg

Huge rig can be operated entirely remotely
600 tonnes of food are stored above water
245sq m pen for salmon, where they spend their entire life

It may at first glance look like an oil rig, but according to a Norwegian firm, this giant structure is the future of fish farming.

Each of the 5,600 tonne, 670-metre-high steel rigs can house eight times as many salmon as conventional cages.

They have a 245 square metre pen for the salmon, space in the offices above for 600 tonnes of feed, and accommodation for up to four people – although they can be operated remotely.

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The giant structure, 67m high, is designed for salmon farming.

The Norwegian fish farmers behind it claim they are about to revolutionise fish farming after being inspired to create giant offshore fish rigs which were inspired by North Sea oil rigs.

The Norwegian company SalMar said it plans to start rearing fish out to sea using their new construction that was based on the design used for oil platforms.

The man who managed the project, Gunnar Myreboe, also oversaw the design of offshore rigs for the Snohvit oil and gas field.

Gustav Witzoe, 60, the company’s founder and main shareholder, said: ‘We’ve been working on this for almost two years. What we are now going to present is ground-breaking. It is a revolution.’

Each of the 5,600 tonne, 670-metre-high steel rigs can house eight times as many salmon as conventional cages.

They have a 245 square metre pen for the salmon, space in the offices above for 600 tonnes of feed, and accommodation for up to four people.

By farming further out to sea, the company aims to reduce problems with salmon lice, and protect wild salmon from infections.

The installation will be kept in place with eight anchors, and will be able to withstand waves nine metres high, three times as large as the waves existing salmon cages can handle.

The submerged facility is an anchored fixed structure, floating steady in the exposed ocean and is suitable for water depths of 100 to 300 meters, where the aqua biological conditions are more ideal for aquaculture on ‘the fish’s terms,’ the firm says.

All of the farming operations can be managed onboard the facility without making use of
service vessels and outside equipment.

This means that the fish can stay inside the net from smolt stocking to harvestable fish.

The facility is also equipped with one moveable and two fixed bulkheads that can divide the facility into 3 compartments.

During normal operation, a crew of 2 – 4 people will monitor and manage
the facility.

However, it can also be remotely operated.

Risk studies performed emphasize that the facility is very secure with respect to possibilities for fish escaping.

The release of fish and start of farming will at the earliest take place during spring 2016.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2575030/The-automated-fish-rigs-farm-Salmon-North-Sea.html#ixzz2vDdqM2p8

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