Biofouling of fish farm infrastructure is a problem for the aquaculture industry, influencing fish welfare, the environment and in the end, the profits of the industry.
With their combination of large net surfaces, support structures, mooring lines and permanently anchored feed barges, salmon culture facilities offer a considerable amount of space for biofouling organisms
Biofouling causes an increased risk of diseases due to the elevated presence of parasite pathogens associated with the fouling species. There may also be a direct health risk associated with fouling species, for example through gill injuries. (Source: Biofouling in Norwegian Salmon Farming Industry. Nina Blocher, NTNU 2013)
There have also been suspicions that densities of salmon lice within net cages could be affected by the presence of biofouling, either by biofouling organisms directly harboring lice (or their larvae) or by indirectly concentrating them within cages through the obstruction of water flows via net occlusion. (Source: Potential environmental risks associated with biofouling management in salmon aquaculture. Floer et.al. 2016)
Cleaner fish have a reduced delousing performance if biofouling is present as an (alternative} food source. Cleaner fish prefer to feed on fouling organisms and as their delousing performance drops, the number of lice-infested fish increases.
Today's cleaning operation of aquaculture infrastructure is both complex and costly, and as a consequence focus is primarily on removing biofouling instead of preventing biofouling.
Increasing the cleaning frequency for the entire aquaculture infrastructure will help to prevent the development of biofouling and associated parasites, thereby reducing (future) costs e.g. delousing, whilst simultaneously improving fish welfare (lower mortality).
To make it attractive for the aquaculture industry to focus on preventive cleaning, it is necessary that the cleaning operation (for the entire infrastructure) becomes simpler, more efficient and cheaper.
Bravo Marine’s portfolio includes C-Ray® underwater cleaning systems and high pressure pumps. This range of products will provide a one stop shop solution to the need of aquaculture clients. Capabilities include the cleaning and maintenance of cage rings, cage nets, as well as flat and curved surfaces like barges and boats.