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FRAMO - Aquastream2

Alternative title: FRAMO - Aquastream2

Awarded: NOK 2.0 mill.

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Project Period:

2024 - 2027

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Norwegian salmon farming faces significant challenges, including salmon lice, infections, and pollution in the form of sludge and feed from open sea pens. These issues have hindered market growth. While developing new methods for fish farming is crucial, the potential to improve existing open pens has not been fully realized. FRAMO has solutions to address these problems. Their Aquastream system already enhances water conditions in the pens and enables the year-round use of lice skirts to hinder lice infestations. Additionally, they have systems to manage sludge and reduce pollution from feed. This project aims to use these systems to create a sensor-based environment that covers the entire pen. It explores how controlling various parameters in open pens can have positive effects on fish, the surrounding environment, and wild populations. The project contributes to introducing a more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and profitable development for Norwegian salmon farming by optimizing existing facilities and addressing key industry challenges.

Framo has currently developed the Aquastream pump system which is installed in the middle of open pens to draw water from a more stable condition up to 20 metres below the surface up to the top of the pen and induce a current, thereby improving the water quality and enabling lice skirts all year round. In the current climate some farmers are forced to remove skirts mid summer due to a lack of oxygen within the skirt. Preventative measures also suppress the need of delousing which can be an expensive process that brings a lot of stress and damage to the salmon through high temperatures. Prolonged temperatures above 18°C have also been documented to stress salmon, with temperatures above 21°C being potentially lethal. These temperatures can also be found naturally in summertimes in areas like Canada where fish farming is popular. Multiple factors can be manipulated with the Aquastream through lifting water from a deeper, more stable position which can improve conditions within the pen. For sludge collection, Framo has acquired LiftUp – a company specialised in sludge collection – to include these to their aquaculture catalogue. LiftUp’s sludge collecting systems use a custom net to funnel the sludge at the bottom of the pen into a single point where it is sucked up and transported to a central processing unit for all pens in the area. Using these products as a platform the project will perform a deep dive in how controlling different parameters in open pen fish farms will affect the fish within the pen, wild fish in the areas surrounding it and the environment in general. The project will centre around the Aquastream documenting the impact it has in its current state and mapping its potential for improving conditions in and around open pens. Using the knowledge gathered, a process of optimising existing functions and developing auxiliary equipment to expand the range of functions will proceed while continuously monitoring this developed technology’s effectiveness.

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