Huon Aquaculture to put salmon in high-energy “fortress pens”

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Special pens can operate in sea heights of up to 6 metres in the open waters of Storm Bay, Tasmania, Australia.

Salmon farmers Huon Aquaculture are transporting their fish aboard the wellboat “Ronja Huon” to larger pens at Storm Bay, reports ABC news.

The special fortress pens are designed to withstand rough weather and keep seals out. They are a two-net system — a tough outer net and an inner net — with about two metres between them.

“The pens are the same ones we’ve been using in other Storm Bay leases for the past 4 years (and what we use in the Huon River/D’Entrecasteaux Channel). Design is the same (with slight tweaks to the bird nets) and some changes to accommodate the “Hogan” (our 600 tonne feed barge) which connects to all the pens, allowing us to feed the fish remotely,” wrote Huon Aquaculture Corporate Communications & Community Relations Manager Pene Snashall.

Around 2.2 million young fish – up to half a kilo in weight –  are going to sea to 18 sites at Yellow Bluff and are transported from the company’s hatchery Australia’s first onshore salmon nursery – Whale Point.

Sturdy – A combination of fast water movement and wave action (regularly greater than 4m) equates to a high energy site. This results in more oxygen availability and quicker flushing of carbon dioxide and ammonia which is much better for the fish, says Huon. PHOTO: Huon Aquaculture

“After about eight months they’ll be transported to larger pens at Storm Bay,” said Huon Aquaculture general manager of marine operations David Moorehead to the publication.

“This new lease area will provide expansion capacity in Storm Bay up to 13,500 tonnes as well as improve biosecurity through the better separation of year-classesThe East of Yellow Bluff lease also enables Huon to maintain the best stocking densities in the world as well as longer fallowing of farm sites,” added Snashall.

Huon’s forecast of production volumes for FY2020 is at least 25,000 tonnes.