Significant parts of the Norwegian coast are today unavailable to industrial fish farming due to remoteness and exposure to harsh wind, wave, current and ice conditions. Regular and infrequent aquaculture operations are challenging. After six years of operation, the EXPOSED Aquaculture Operations centre is well positioned to address this, by developing knowledge and technology for robust, safe and efficient fish farming at exposed locations. Its broad consortium of global salmon farmers, key service and technology providers, and leading research groups has been important to identify challenges and limitations to current fish farming operations and to identify knowledge gaps related to new farm concepts.
At present, there is a strong innovation drive in the Norwegian aquaculture industry, and extensive investments are being done. This is partly driven by development permits, a time limited policy launched by the Norwegian government to encourage new farm concepts and technological innovation that will solve environmental challenges and enable access to new sea-based production sites. SFI EXPOSED and its partners are valued contributors to this development through their role as partners in R&D projects, in scientific and industrial fora, and in the public debate.
SFI EXPOSED has finalized around 20 projects, spanning from fundamental to more applied research, supported by several PhDs employed by the centre directly and several associated projects, PhDs and postdocs. The activities have built competence and affected procedures among the partners, and have also had an impact on governance and regulations of the industry.
Some of the research achievements of the EXPOSED centre:
- A model for holistic risk assessment of aquaculture operations
- A new formula for net drag coefficient
- Environmental descriptions of coastal sites, to improve precision and relevance of the basis for design and operations planning.
- Salmon and cleaner fish swimming capacity, which is important to assess new locations and new farming technology.
- Navigation/localization of ROV/AUVs, relative to nets and flexible structures enables more precise and autonomous operations.
- Machine vision-based hole detection and integrity control, used to improve inspection operations.
- Modelling of aquaculture systems, including vessel-structure interaction, as a future tool to study the systems, inform design and monitor conditions.
- Methods to analyse and predict operational limits, supporting technology development in design decisions and operational planning.
- Working environment and competence requirements are studied to improve procedures and inform design and technology development.
In 2021, the projects have been implemented according to the work plan. Some necessary adjustments and compensation for physical meetings was made during the spring. In the fall of 2021, physical meetings and demonstrations have been executed.
More information about centre activities at http://exposedaquaculture.no/.
Vision: Pioneering exposed aquaculture - Innovations to unlock the real blue potential
Significant parts of the Norwegian coast is today unavailable to industrial fish farming due to remoteness and exposure to harsh wind, wave and current conditions. The EXPOSED aquaculture operations Centre will draw upon Norway's strong position in the aquaculture, maritime and offshore sectors to enable safe and sustainable seafood production in exposed coastal and ocean areas. Technological innovations, such as more autonomous systems, offshore structures and vessels are needed to sustain farm production under all conditions and enable more robust, safe, controlled and continuous operations.
The EXPOSED Centre brings together global leading salmon farmers, key service and technology providers, SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture and other strong research groups, including AMOS (the Norwegian Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems). The centre will integrate six research AREAs. Four areas target technological innovations that will enable safe and reliable exposed aquaculture operations:
- Autonomous systems and technologies for remote operations
- Monitoring and operational decision support
- Structures for exposed locations
- Vessel design for exposed operations
Two areas represent core requirements for sustainable production:
- Safety and risk management
- Fish behaviour and welfare
Solutions that enable use of exposed sites will likely contribute to sustainable growth in the Norwegian salmon industry and global aquaculture production. This focus will also provide competence and solutions that benefit more sheltered aquaculture production. In addition, new knowledge gained from exposed aquaculture will benefit other industries by providing flexible and cost-effective maritime products and services. Such systems and technologies are in worldwide demand and novel competence and solutions will increase existing and open new markets for suppliers.