Scottish aquaculture supply company, Gael Force, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Northern Ireland-based Cunningham Covers – a manufacturer of protective covers and containment products using high-strength flexible materials – to create a working prototype of the SeaQureWell by 2024.
“We are delighted to be a long-term partner with Gael Force in this project,” said David Cunningham, Cunningham Covers’ managing director, in a press release. “Our two companies share core values and ethos, as well as a long-term ambition to grow our presence together in the semi-closed containment fish farming sector, combining the considerable and complementary strengths of both companies.”
Gael Force and Cunningham Covers have also entered a supply partner agreement with Serge Ferrari – a global leader in flexible composite materials – who will provide their advanced Precontraint technology and membranes to enhance the performance and durability of the SeaQureWell system.
“By announcing this next major step forward in the development of SeaQureFarm we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the continual improvement of a greener, carbon-friendly way to sustainably produce a healthy, nutritious food protein. We share the sector’s ambition of minimising environmental footprint and moving closer to a goal of achieving net zero,” added Gael Force Group managing director, Stewart Graham.
He concluded: “In partnership with Cunningham Covers, supported by Serge Ferrari as our specialised material supply partner, I am extremely confident that our collective experience and expertise will enable us to move the dial considerably towards that target.”
The SeaQureFarm concept is designed to deliver improved fish health, reduced predation, prevent seabed depositions and reduce egg-to-plate emissions, while enabling on-farm circular economies and turning a waste problem into an energy solution.
An integral part of SeaQureFarm is the SeaQureWell, where seawater is pumped and pushed into a floating enclosed “well” with its floating collar at the sea surface. The collar supports the well and its pumping arrangements, which lifts deeper coastal water into the well creating an in-well temperature profile that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
The SeaQureWell will be constructed of engineered high-quality composite membrane material, cut and welded to form the well, with structural floatation at the surface and a rigid sub-surface service and support structure. It aims to provide and maintain a secure controlled environment to safeguard fish against external environmental threats to the fish from sea lice, gill amoeba, jellyfish and algae bloom, as well as protect against sea mammal predation. Additionally, faecal depositions, along with any uneaten food, will also be captured in the well for on-site recovery and reduction for reuse.