Transformational innovation in aquaculture
Although significant progress has been made in recent years, current salmon production systems still encounter various challenges associated with “open water” production related to water quality, environmental pollution, and escapes. Additionally, threats of diseases, algae, sea lice, jellyfish and other predators persist as a result of unsecure perimeters.
Aqua Innovations, an SME based in Inverness, have secured funding via the UK Seafood Innovation Fund to undertake the detailed design stage of their flagship innovation concept ‘SeaCAP 6000’. Within the next couple of weeks, with the support of partners Agri-EPI, QED Naval, and Sterner Aquatech and an expert industry-led steering group, the innovative group will explore the feasibility of a transformational way of producing Salmon off the Scottish Coast.
The SeaCAP 6000, a new floating contained farm to grow salmon smolts to full harvest weight, will provide the optimum environment for the fish, with control of water quality, exclusion of external biological factors which can impact on fish health and will capture faeces and waste feed. The innovation is aligned with national agendas to supporting sustainable growth of the sector to double production and economic contribution by 2030.
Benefits over current salmon production systems
The main benefits of the closed contained marine farm are:
- Control of water quality/internal environment
- Exclusion of water-borne diseases, and algae, sea lice, jellyfish, and predators
- Prevention of escapes
- Capture of the waste for removal and treatment, preventing environmental pollution, and potentially recycling or re-use
- H&S benefits and operational efficiencies within a controlled working environment
- Durable, low maintenance, emptied and cleaned between crops
- Unique mooring system which required only 5% of the seabed lease area to grow an equivalent biomass
Transformational innovation in aquaculture
Inventor of the SeaCAP Rodger Taylor is delighted that the potential of this technology has been recognised, after the concept has been in development for a number of years:
“Now that we have both the funding and the support of strong partners, we can take it a step closer to realisation”.
For Scotland-based Agri-EPI, this is an exciting opportunity to get involved with transformational innovation in aquaculture which aims to have an impact close to home.
Kasi McReddie, Business Development Manager for Aquaculture & Livestock says:
“We’re thrilled to be supporting Aqua Innovation on their journey to develop the SeaCAP 6000. Salmon producers face major challenges which may be overcome using technology to contain production – essentially eliminating outside threats and giving the farmer more control over their site. This collaborative approach to innovation is at the heart of Agri-EPI’s vision to support productive, sustainable and profitable food production.”
Design of technology prototype
In partnership with Sterner AquaTech and QED Naval, Aqua Innovation will be working on the detailed design of the prototype 6,000m3 closed contained farm to grow smolts from 100g to 1kg for on-growing in traditional sea cages. Agri-EPI will support the project by organising an industry-led expert steering group to ensure the innovation is developed in-line with the needs and challenges of those in the supply chain. Further support comes in the form of business development and knowledge exchange.
About the UK Seafood Innovation Fund
The UK Seafood Innovation Fund supports bold and ambitious tech-driven projects that will enable a step-change in the productivity and sustainability of the UK seafood sector. Administered by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the UK Seafood Innovation Fund supports projects with a long-term vision to improve the UK seafood, fishing and aquaculture Industries. For more information about the Seafood Innovation Fund, please visit their twitter page.
Follow project progress
Be sure to follow Agri-EPI on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep abreast of the progress with this exciting project. To learn more and find out how you can get involved, please reach out to Kasi McReddie, Agri-EPI’s Business Development Manager Livestock & Aquaculture at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn about our industry impact around the globe.