main structure to reduce the risks during maintenance and crucially, there are no moving parts inside the cages eliminating the risk of ruining the nets. Additionally, the facility is self-sufficient producing its own electricity.”

Odd: “Because it is for offshore sea farming, this eliminates the risk of contamination in the fjords and it is a long distance from any other sea farms, which reduces the risk of disease. We have spent a lot of time considering how the systems should be aligned and integrated. By putting out large smolts with an average size of 600+ grams, the production of fish up to 5 kg can go on for 10 months a year. In the remaining two months we clean the equipment and introduce a new generation of fish. It is hoped we will be able to start operations in 2020.”

Viewpoint Seafarm is exploring the potential of a second, fish farming concept?

Kåre: “Yes, this is for a smaller fish farm called the spider cage. We are applying for four licences for this technology. This centres on an outer steel ring with another ring inside with a heave compensation system between the two rings. The inner ring contains the net, which because it is more static, reduces potential mechanical problems with the net.”

Odd: “The spider cage also reduces the likelihood of sea lice as the structure is 12 m underwater and lice lie on the surface, unless there is some rough weather. This is a very good way of protecting the fish and it makes its own power, not requiring a generator on land, making it energy neutral. There is also a big reduction in the amount of supply/support boats that need to visit the farm.”

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Were both concepts tested at MARIN?

Kåre: “Yes, we have a very good cooperation with MARIN; the experts here have helped us find out about the pros and cons of each system and which points we need to adjust. We are recommending MARIN to the other Norwegian fish farmers developing these new systems! The model tests showed that the Viewpoint Seafarm concept is amazingly stable, even in sea states with Hs 11m, and that is when the net structures and cages are attached. In October, we started tests on the spider cage and again, we had very good input from MARIN and the results were in line with our own tests.

“As well as this scale testing of the net also took place, firstly with a towing testing campaign. This enabled MARIN to

analyse the loads on the net, plus any additional loads caused by marine growth.

“Both systems are as steady as can be! And I think this is an important statement to the government. We have shown that we have done the testing and taken the next step, these are not just concepts.”

How do these initiatives help the development of the sustainable fish farming industry of the future?

Kåre: “Part of the government programme is that this technology should be shared, so other fish farmers can buy the design. And when considering that only 2.5% of food worldwide comes from the sea and the growing population, it is evident we need sustainable fish farms.

Spider cage concept

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