Production to start at Cermaq’s new closed containment system in Norway

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Smolt is now being put into Cermaq’s new closed containment system in Horsvågen, northern Norway.

In a press release, Cermaq have reported that they are taking its first step towards developing closed pen farming technology.

Illustration of Cermaq’s closed containment system

The closed containment system is built to provide bio security and fish welfare. Water will be pumped into the pen from 13 meters depth, preventing sea lice from entering the pen. The tarp wall is made of strong and flexible composite, which minimises escape risk. The company say that it’s the world’s largest closed cage using flexible walls.

New technology to us
“We have been working on this project for a long time, and we are happy that we now are ready to put fish into the pen”, said Frode Holmvaag, Manager Seawater Nordland in Cermaq Norway. “This is new technology to us, and it will be very interesting to follow the growth and development of the fish in the new containment system”, said Holmvaag.

The new closed containment system has been constructed in partnership with closed cage experts, Botngaard, and flexible material maker, Serge Ferrari. The system is certified for locations with a significant wave height of two meters, and can be used at most existing sea sites.

“The delivery and start up of the closed cage in Horsvågen mark a milestone for Botngaard and our development program for closed cages. We will now work together with Cermaq and our industry partners to further improve the technology and daily operations of the cage”, says Magnus Stendal, System Delivery Manager in Botngaard.

Serge Ferrari, developed the membrane wall that makes the containment system.

“After 6 years spent on R&D on various topics such as non-toxic formulation, as little elongation as possible and excellent lifetime, Serge Ferrari has come up with a new membrane dedicated to flexible closed cages: our Biobrane Aqua 2050. This highly secure fabric gives security against fish escape, more than ever”, said Gabriel Faysse, Market Manager Environment and Energy at Serge Ferrari.

Future
Cermaq say they will cooperate closely with scientists to optimise the new closed containment system.

“There are still a lot of things we don’t know about closed containment systems. We see that closed containment systems in the ocean can play an important role in the aquaculture industry in the future, but it still requires further development”, said Harald Takle, R&D Manager Farming Technology in Cermaq Group.

“This is why we have applied for development licenses with the FlexiFarm concept, which takes closed containment systems a giant step further as it will include cost-effective water treatment against infections and allow harvest size production in more exposed areas”, Takle added.