Feed barge builder Gael Force has revealed its 2022 Sea Safe features and enhancements on its extended SeaFeed barge range, which are constructed from concrete and steel.
The company announced the new features on the barges, constructed in Scotland, ahead of the Aquaculture UK event, where they are set to be exhibited.
Across the full range of SeaFeed barges, Gael Force’s new features include a smart new hatch alarm system that is connected to all external hatches, doors or openings. If any hatches are left open, the alarm system will notify the operator with a combination of alerts inside and outside the barge to ensure operators know it is closed before departing. This will be in place alongside the existing automated bilge alarm systems.
Load line markings are clearly marked on the barge hull to indicate minimum working freeboard, light ship and fully laden levels to the operator. Throughout the lower levels of the barge, Gael Force has introduced robust DNV compliant watertight doors and hatches, increasing segregation between rooms. Watertight cable glands have been implemented in the design to ensure all cable transitions through walls keep each void watertight.
All new barge designs feature a new heat venting arrangement meaning any heat generated from the plant inside the lower levels of the barge is now vented directly outside thus removing any source of heat build-up. As a result, the inside of the barge is kept close to ambient seawater temperature, and this benefits the plant on board and ensures that feed retains its quality in the best available environment.
Optional Hybrid Power Systems can be installed or retrofitted to existing barges. With Fjord Hybrid, fish farms can run their generators for as little as three hours per day, instead of 24 hours, which is the current norm. This can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent compared with traditional operations. Moreover, Fjord Maritime has reported that the reduced running time can extend the lifetime of fish farm power supply systems by up to 60 per cent.
“Our feed barges have gradually evolved over many years as fish farming methods have advanced, however, by modernising our concrete designs within the SeaFeed range and implementing our collection of 2022 Sea Safe features we see this as a significant leap forward, building a stronger more competitive offering in support of our customers,” Group Managing Director, Stewart Graham said.
Gael Force has delivered 100 feeding barges of varying types and capacities over the past two decades, with the vast majority being deployed in Scotland, as well as Canada, Faroes, Norway and Spain.