Fisheries & Aquaculture News

Deep Farming Effective in Eliminating Need for Lice Treatments

Recent findings have reinforced the effectiveness of deep farming, specifically through the Nautilus concept, in eliminating the need for lice treatments in fish farming pens. This approach, which submerges salmon into depths uninhabitable by sea lice, has enabled several fish farmers to achieve what has long seemed unattainable: completely avoiding lice treatments within their pens.

SinkabergHansen was the first fish farmer demonstrating that deep farming could eliminate the need for lice treatment. Further results from other Norwegian fish farming companies utilizing Nautilus pens across various locations have shown similar outcomes, eliminating the need for lice treatments.

Through a pioneering partnership with SinkabergHansen, AKVA group has made deep farming technology accessible via Nautilus pens.

"Our close collaboration with the farmers to continually refine the concept not only makes our work vital but also incredibly exciting," says Arnstein Hosaas, Innovation Director at AKVA group.

"I commend our new clients in deep farming for their genuine desire to improve fish health and the considerable effort and resources they invest to excel in deep farming. While they are eager to see positive results quickly, they patiently build their knowledge step by step. The first step is to operate safely and avoid lice infestation. We have essentially achieved this goal together. The next step is to operate efficiently, with better growth and improved fish health. It takes time to become truly good, even with deep farming, says Hosaas.

Modular Waterborne Feeding

The new deep farming concept relies not just on innovative technology but also on the careful adaptation of existing solutions. Waterborne feeding has been significantly improved for efficient use in deep farming. Following an extensive pilot program with several fish farmers, AKVA group now offers a modular solution that easily converts traditional airborne feeding systems to waterborne feeding. This module, weighing approximately 300 kg, facilitates a smooth transition to deep farming without the need for complex modifications to the existing feed barge.

"We believe that customers starting with modular waterborne feeding in the transition to deep farming will prefer a specially adapted waterborne feed barge for their next investment. Such a barge, designed specifically for waterborne feeding, will offer greater energy efficiency, improved feed handling, and a better working environment compared to converted airborne systems," says Hosaas.

Waterborne feeding is essential for deep farming, as is underwater lighting and lice counting with a biomass and lice control camera. AKVA submerged uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance data collection processes.

Research and Collaboration

From the development of Atlantis Subsea Farming to the current Nautilus concept, AKVA group's technological journey has been grounded in extensive research and collaboration. This collaboration has included institutions such as SINTEF Ocean and the Institute of Marine Research, as well as a close partnership with SinkabergHansen, which has been crucial for the solutions we see today.

"Over the years, we have developed an efficient work methodology and gained high competence in customizing the Nautilus solution for each unique location and the individual needs of the farmer," says Hosaas.

AKVA group has enhanced the deep farming concept by carefully adjusting each component for optimal interaction within the system, in line with the stricter requirements of the latest revision of NS9415. This involves customized floats, bottom rings, and net solutions with integrated passages for technical equipment and diver access.

"Integrating the equipment into a complete system is critical for the health of the fish and avoiding deformities. Our responsibility to deliver a complete system leads to expectations of close collaboration and follow-up, enhancing our efficiency and strengthening the partnership with our customers towards the goal of improved fish health."


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