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Science Finds a Brighter Future Offshore

by Ellen Hardy
16 September 2008, at 1:00am

SPAIN - The future for offshore finfish farming is good with new technologies and designs enabling the majority of sea areas to be exploited for cage culture, a leading aquaculture expert will tell the Offshore Mariculture conference in Alicante, Spain.

Professor Carmelo Agius, aquaculture consultant for Fusion Marine, will tell delegates at the conference that finfish farmers in the Mediterranean will have little option other than to move offshore because of pressure from other coastal users and in order to meet environmental requirements.


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"There are a number of larger species coming onto the scene in sub-tropical and tropical areas such as cob, cobia and amberjack"
Professor Carmelo Agius, aquaculture consultant for Fusion Marine

But new technologies, such as those developed for Fusion Marine’s Triton and Oceanflex range of cages, mean that any move offshore will not hinder industry development and will instead bring an era of new opportunity.

Professor Agius will tell the conference: “Only extremely high energy sites such as typhoon and hurricane prone areas may be unsuitable for surface collar cages, leaving the majority of oceans suitable for such fish farming operations.”

Indeed, Fusion Marine cages installed for cobia culture at the Aqua Antilles fish farm site in Martinique even survived last year’s notorious Hurricane Dean, which destroyed other cages in the region.

Karl Larcher of Aqua Antilles said: “There was no significant damage and no fish were lost. I am looking forward to expanding our cobia operations to a number of other Caribbean countries employing Fusion Marine cages.”

Meanwhile, the development of new species farming will also help boost the offshore aquaculture industry.

“There are a number of larger species coming onto the scene in sub-tropical and tropical areas such as cob, cobia and amberjack,” says Professor Agius.

“These will be the equivalent of salmon from temperate areas and will require larger cages that are more suited to exposed site conditions. Yellowfin tuna farming is also likely to catch on in the tropics.”

Fusion Marine has already been involved in supplying cages for cob in South Africa and amberjack in Malta.

Ellen Hardy