Fish farming in net pens will be a dominant operating form in the foreseeable future. It is therefore important to focus on achieving an acceptable environmental footprint, more efficient operating regimes, fish welfare – and the reputation of the industry.
Sustainable innovation project
Steen-Hansen has been awarded NOK 5.7 million in financial support from Innovation Norway as part of the programme for developing environmental technology (Miljøtek). This support is based on a holistic approach to the issue of fouling, with a focus on reducing the environmental footprint, improving fish health and increasing net protection.
Development of a specialised process line
The main aim of the project is to develop and implement a process line for the industrial production of new and more environmentally friendly net protection products.
"Steen-Hansen has long worked purposefully towards developing even more efficient and environmentally friendly products. Our new, innovative products have far greater processing requirements than traditional net impregnation, and the financial support from Innovation Norway will play an important role in being able to achieve industrial production of these desired products," said Stig Fagerlid, Plant Manager at Steen-Hansen.
The life-cycle of the entire net
The project also looks at the entire life-cycle of net use; from impregnation products, their correct application, the traceability of products, to the re-use of packaging. A close and well-functioning cooperation with fish farmers, net producers and service stations is crucial for the industry to achieve the common goal of reducing the environmental impact of current operations. Among other things, Steen-Hansen’s innovation project will provide fish farmers with a foundation for evaluating the environmental impact on their own locality through strategic choices for keeping the net pens free of fouling.
Ambitious environmental goals
At the basis of Steen-Hansen’s innovation project are some ambitious goals that include a major reduction in copper emissions combined with longer protection time in the sea.
"Steen-Hansen has demonstrated that it takes environmental challenges regarding the use of net impregnation seriously, for example by using copper-free and copper-reduced products, as well as having its own recycling unit for transport packaging. They submitted a strong application for a logical continuation of this strategy, and we are excited about the future," said Tore Alfheim, Senior Advisor at Innovation Norway.