The Mowi deal is believed to be one of the largest agreements for ROV services in the aquaculture sector. UCO currently provides underwater monitoring services for the offshore energy, inspection, construction and aquaculture sectors. The deal has Underwater Contracting providing 15 submersible vehicles for Mowi. They will be working 365 days a year over the term of the contract to provide a range of services in the UK, the rest of Europe and North America.
Sean Anderson, production director at Mowi Scotland, commented: “With almost all our assets underwater, it’s vital to always have our eyes on the prize. The deployment of 15 ROVs supplied by UCO complements our static underwater camera systems and will immediately aid us in our daily monitoring of animal welfare and stock containment.”
The ROVs, operated from the surface, will carry out a range of tasks including monitoring fish in pens, inspecting nets and moorings, removing mortalities using UCO’s patented Foover system and carrying out simple repair jobs like fixing torn nets.
Mick Bower, managing director of UCO, which is headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have won this major contract which will help secure the future of the company for years to come. It will also support the development of our services and innovations as part of our strategic growth plan, leading to much more exciting innovation for the Scottish salmon sector.”
Formed in 2017, UCO is part of Ocean Marine Group with sister companies Pirie & Smith and ETPM. UCO makes use of ROVs from different manufacturers, but the mainstay of its fleet is the Saab Falcon.
ROVs are gaining traction in the aquaculture sector as the industry begins to adopt larger cages and moving into greater water depths. These strategic moves increase the length of potential dives – and may jeopardise the safety of human divers. ROVs are emerging as a solution to these safety risks as the global industry expands production.