Lower Salmon Farm Production Costs: Results validate Study
A pathway to lower salmon farm production costs found in published studies has been validated in commercial salmon farm operations in southern Chile.
This 2015 Life Cycle Assessment that focused on the environmental benefits of Copper Alloy Mesh also demonstrated significant reductions in the volume of key inputs used in production and a reduction in mortalities.
Due to the natural repression of biofouling by the Copper Alloy Mesh nets farm activities such as cleaning and maintenance lead to a reduction in fuel consumption (-15%) and labour hours (-79.6%) per metric ton of production.
The significant reduction of biofouling also improved the growing conditions inside the cage – with cage volume maintained and dissolved oxygen content consistently at the same level as the cage surroundings, stock in the cage were able to utilise feed to grow rather than for stress responses leading to a reduction in feed consumption (-10.5%) per metric ton of production and a reduction in mortalities (-44.4%) on a biomass basis.
A trial, also in Chile at the Traiguen II site of Invermar has validated the results of the study against adjacent cages in a commercial production scenario.
EcoSea Farm Systems designed the 40 meter diameter/126m circumference submersible cage employing Copper Alloy Mesh nets for the trial. The cage, which was designed for offshore and open ocean production sites was installed at the Traiguen II site in August 2019 between 2 sets of square surface cages with traditional nylon nets.
The results of the 1st production cycle showed a reduction in production cost (-18%) compared to the adjacent cages. The EcoSea cage was stocked 2 months later with smolts that were 47.5% smaller yet were a similar size when the site was harvested in December 2020 demonstrating the higher growth rate that can be achieved in Copper Alloy Mesh cages.