Grieg to use ‘escape-proof’ net cages for Newfoundland project
By Matt Jones
An “escape-proof” net cage system will be installed in Grieg’s project in Newfoundland, Canada, the salmon farmer said.
The net cage system, called Aqualine Midgard, has been touted by its developer as the “industry’s first escape-proof fish farming system.” Norwegian net cage system supplier Aqualine won the 2015 NHO Trøndelag Innovation Award for the product.
According to The Research Council of Norway, equipment failure or operational error are behind three out of four farmed salmon escapes, and two out of three escapes are due to holes in sea cage nets.
Aqualine CCO Stig Domaas Førre said the Midgard System has addressed common problems that make most net-cage systems susceptible to strong currents and winds. Midgard System nets are sewn by hand and are custom-made to suit the farm. Also included is a system of 10 coordinated winches along the surface of the cage, in order to make it easier for farmers to raise the cage when harvesting.
Førre says the system is escape-free when operated under the proper parameters. Obviously, escapes can happen if a system isn’t used or maintained properly, or in accidents, for instance, a boat crashing into the cage.
“Our product is extremely well-tested and documented. For all of these tests, we have not seen any sign of chaffing and there has not been any accidents with the system,” says Førre. “But a plane can fall down. It’s safe to fly and there are many regulations when you operate as an airliner that you have to be within. There are so many safety checks. But still, once in a while, a plane falls down.”